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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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2015

Top 10 most read First Reference Talks posts published in 2015 and Season’s Greetings

The holidays are upon us and it is time to take a well deserved break. Please note that we will not be blogging during the holiday season from Thursday December 24, 2015, to Friday January 1, 2016, inclusive. Our bloggers will resume sharing with you, their expertise and interesting developments in the world of HR, employment law, privacy, accessibility and payroll on Monday January 4, 2016…

 

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Introducing our newest guest blogger Lisa Stam from Koldorf Stam LLP

We are very pleased to announce that Lisa Stam, Koldorf Stam LLP will be blogging on First Reference Talks starting in January 2016 on the impact, risks and opportunities of social media and technology issues in the workplace, including issues related to BYOD and the mobile workforce, workplace misconduct, privacy breaches, evidentiary weight of social media information, social media crisis management, cross-jurisdictional and global issues with social media, and general strategy on handling social media in business, among other employment and human rights related topics.

 

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Inspiring employee engagement at Christmas – Christmas bonuses vs Christmas giving

Does your company do an annual Christmas bonus or appreciation? Has it been going on for a long time? Do employees expect it? Feel entitled to it? At some point an annual Christmas bonus becomes an employee entitlement. They begin to feel they deserve or are entitled to it. The same can be said for seniority awards.

 

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Public holiday reminders for the 2015-16 holiday season

The holiday season is often the happiest time of the year, because of time spent with family, gifts and many other things. However, it can also be the most stressful time of the year, especially at work. Deadlines are often tight because of shifting schedules, customers and workloads can be more demanding, and there may be pressure to increase performance to meet end-of-year business goals. Family demands, travel and employment standards public holiday (statutory holiday/general holiday) requirements can also take a toll. Management should not forget what employees are entitled to, and their responsibilities, under the law regarding time off during the holidays. Here is a brief summary:

 

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Work-related parties with alcohol

Having workplace Christmas parties can be a fun and social way of bonding with your co workers and supervisors, however there is one major thing you must watch out for as a host of those sorts of events; alcohol. It is estimated that 63,000 people are injured annually due to drunk driving, and as an employer or supervisor hosting a work related event with alcohol, you are liable for any accidents that occur due to the consumption of alcohol at your event.

 

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To IME or not to IME, this is the question

In the recent decision, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (“OHRT”) addressed the issue of when it would be reasonable for an employer to request an Independent Medical Exam (“IME”) from an employee during the accommodation process. The OHRT ruled that an employer request for an IME will be justified when it was “reasonable” in the circumstances of creating an individualized accommodation plan.

 

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Déductibilité du droit d’usage pour automobile/Deductibility from the right to use the automobile

L’avantage imposable d’un employé, relatif à l’usage d’une automobile qui affiche le logo de son employeur, peut-il être réduit afin de tenir compte du fait que l’employeur tire un avantage publicitaire? / Can the taxable benefit of an employee derived from the personal use and availability of an automobile displaying their employer’s corporate logo, be reduced to take into account the benefit that the employer derives in terms of publicity?

 

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Privacy Commissioner releases annual report regarding portable storage devices

On December 10, 2015, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released an annual report to Parliament highlighting a result of an audit of the government’s management of portable storage devices and reported data breaches.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with 2016 payroll rates; employer dress code; and 2016 TD1 Ontario Personal Tax Credits Return.

 

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Employee not discriminated against as breastfeeding a “choice”- Federal Court of Appeal Decision

The recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal addresses the employer’s duty to accommodate. Ms. Laura Flatt, the applicant, sought a judicial review from the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (Board) after her grievance against her employer, the Treasury Board of Canada, was dismissed. The applicant had filed her grievance based on discrimination on the grounds of sex and family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

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Terminated: (Summary) judgment day

When the T-1000 came from the future to destroy John Connor, Arnie made sure he was stopped in his tracks. While employers who have to date relied upon prohibitive time and costs to deter ex-employee claims might not face the wrath that Skynet did, given the recent decision of Cloutier v. Q Residential LP Corp (Cloutier), 2015 ONSC 4431 (CanLII), a rethinking of such approaches may be required.

 

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Concurrent employment can bring WSIB claim headaches

Do any of your employees also work for another company? If so, things could get complicated if your worker is ever involved in a workplace accident.

 

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Harsh or “draconian” terms in employment contract not enough for unenforceability

In Kielb v. National Money Mart Company, a dismissed employee sought to have the termination and limitation clauses in his employment agreement found unenforceable. His goal was to recover his bonus for the year during which he was terminated, as well as his contractual pay in lieu of notice, which he waived, in accordance with his employment contract, when he refused to provide Money Mart with a full and final release after his termination.

 

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Employment contract law changed in 2015. Have you reviewed yours?

Recent court decisions changed how the law applies to employment contracts, most importantly terminations, but also off-duty conduct, consideration and restrictive covenants. Important lessons from the changes are that employers need to review their employment contracts, you can update them or change their terms while complying with the law, and failing to do so can damage your organization’s finances and reputation.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with 2016 payroll rates; employee’s cellphone records; and, terminating an employee on medical leave.

 

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