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2013

Slaw: Quebec Calls for corrections to the 2012 federal Employment Insurance reforms

On November 27, 2013, Quebec’s National Employment Insurance Review Commission released its report regarding the impact of the federal government’s 2012 changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program. The report makes 30 recommendations, with three key recommendations calling for the provincial and federal governments to negotiate an agreement giving Quebec the power to manage its own EI system to meet the needs of the province’s labour market.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an excessive termination for a safety violation; an harassment complaint based on the prohibited ground of gender and how human resource issues can be challenging for volunteer boards of not-for-profit.

 

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AODA compliance deadlines for January 2014 are quickly approaching

Most employers are aware of their obligations under the Customer Service Standard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”). However, many employers are not aware of the upcoming requirements under the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standard.

 

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Be prepared to justify employee dress code policies

Most people have experience with an employee uniform or dress code policy (mine is “business casual”). There are often very good reasons to have employees look or dress a certain way. It can assist with productivity, promote professionalism and branding, and ensure uniformity. As such, employees’ attire/appearance can be a legitimate concern for employers. However, to the extent that a policy has no rational connection to a business need or unduly infringes on an employee’s self expression, it may be successfully challenged by unions.

 

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Three most outstanding Canadian law blogs of 2013

On December 1, 2013, the 8th annual Canadian Law Blog Awards (a.k.a. the Clawbies) started receiving nominations for the best outstanding Canadian law blogs for 2013. Closing date to submit your choices is Friday, December 27th, with the winners being announced on New Year’s Eve. Our three nominations for #clawbies2013 are…

 

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Conflicted about the acceptance or giving of gifts to clients or customers

Who doesn’t like to give or receive a gift, especially around holiday times? It is common practice (even expected practice) in some industries to recognize clients or customers with some sort of gift. Employers should ensure that it has adequate policies to inform and advise employees of the conduct and behaviour that is expected of them in the context of the industry in which the employer operates.

 

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Mandatory awareness training for Ontario workers and supervisors as of July 2014!

Christmas has come early for health and safety professionals in Ontario, with the gift of a new law, Regulation 297/13 added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and filed on November 14, 2013. The regulation is the first of its kind in Canada and mandates that all workers and supervisors must complete basic health and safety awareness training.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an employer’s miscalculation of the employee’s notice period; how an Alberta employer paid the price for failing to accommodate an employee’s disabilities; and Ontario’s new mandatory occupational health and safety training.

 

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When is a temporary layoff – not a temporary layoff

Employers will often seek to respond to downturns in their business by temporarily reducing head count, with the hope of having those employees return to work when the business improves. This is often referred to as a temporary lay off. Many employers inquire as to their right to temporarily lay off employees, generally in response to financial constraints of the business.

 

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Understanding top talent

When I hear people talk about top talent, I get reminded of the elusive (and sometimes voodoo) experiences that I had in the past in corporate environments when identifying top talent.
I have to say, it always conjures up memories both good and bad.

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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WSIB making progress: The hard reality for employers

Elizabeth Witmer, who has held the position of WSIB chair for over a year now, recently reported that the WSIB has made significant progress in the quality of service it provides to Ontario workers and employers.

 

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‘Genetic characteristics’ as a prohibited ground of discrimination in Ontario?

A recent private member’s bill introduced by a Liberal MPP in the Ontario legislature would add “genetic characteristics” as a prohibited ground of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Code. As currently drafted, “genetic characteristics” would be defined as “genetic traits of an individual, including traits that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or disease”.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with privacy in the workplace, using social media in recruiting and managing and the enactment of a Bill to make the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario a regulatory body.

 

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Arbitrator orders highest damage award in history against the Ontario Government for discrimination

Arbitrator Deborah Leighton has made history in her recent decision on remedy in OPSEU (Ranger) v. Ontario (Ministry of Corrections) 2013 CanLii 50479, which was released this past July 2013 by awarding more than $100,000 in damages for breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the applicable collective agreement for discrimination, harassment and poisoned work environment.

 

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