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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Author Archive - Devry Smith Frank LLP

Devry Smith Frank LLP (DSF) is the largest full service law firm in Toronto outside of the downtown core. They offer a broad range of legal services to individual, business and corporate clients in most areas of corporate and personal law. Their firm’s employment law group covers a broad spectrum of HR law, including employment and labour law, occupational health & safety, human rights, workers’ compensation and much more. Lawyers at Devry Smith Frank LLP lead by Marty Rabinovitch B.A.H., LL.B. will be covering issues surrounding employment and labour law and human rights on First Reference Talks. They also provide training, seminars and conferences on the above topics. Read more .

Defendants’ apologies found not admissible in civil proceedings or pleadings

The Apology Act is lesser-known piece of Ontario legislation which came into force in 2009. The Act allows defendants in a civil proceeding to communicate sorrow or regret to the other party, without their apology being used against them later in court.

 

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Lawyer receives $1,000 for four minute wait constituting human rights breach

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently awarded an Ontario lawyer, $1,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect, as a result of his being stopped from entering the Riocan Empress Walk mall with his service dog.

 

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Dismissal without just cause: not necessarily “unjust dismissal” under the Canada Labour Code

In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Federal Court of Appeal has clarified the impact of the Canada Labour Code on an employer’s ability to dismiss employees without cause.

 

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Differentiated discipline in the workplace

In a recent decision in an Ontario labour arbitration, at issue was a fight that broke out amongst a few employees. The employer terminated all of those employees that were involved in the fight citing that they had violated the company policy by participating in such aggressive behaviour.

 

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Breaching confidentiality provisions of a settlement agreement can cost you!

To discourage the disclosure of details of settlements to third parties, confidentiality provisions are often included in settlement agreements between an employer and a former employee.

 

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Doctor’s note not always a ticket to a successful human rights claim

When I was in high school and university, it was not uncommon for a few of my classmates to fall ill during exams or just prior to a major test. When explaining to the teacher the next day why they were not present to write the test, one of the more common responses from the teacher would be, “Bring a doctor’s note.”

 

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When can employers draw the line? The duty to accommodate and undue hardship

In Perron v Revera Long Term Care Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal held that an employer’s duty to accommodate does not include a duty to create a new position, fundamentally change working conditions, assign the essential duties of an employee with a disability to other employees or to hire another employee to perform them in the employee’s place.

 

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No procedural duty to accommodate

The Federal Court of Appeal recently ruled in Canada Human Rights Commission v Attorney General of Canada and Bronwyn Cruden, that employers do not have a separate procedural duty to accommodate employees and any procedural inadequacy throughout the accommodation process is not critical where the employer’s actions do not constitute discrimination.

 

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Strep throat not deemed a disability under the Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently dismissed a complaint alleging discrimination made by an examiner when her contract with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario was cancelled. Her contract was cancelled because she was unable to attend a two-day mandatory training session as she had strep throat.

 

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Surreptitious tape recording of bargaining negotiations not admitted into evidence

The issue in this case was whether a surreptitious tape recording of bargaining negotiations was allowed to be admitted into evidence.

 

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Honesty, the best policy in employment relationships

A recent decision out of the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of an employee for behaving dishonestly towards his employer.

 

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Post-treatment agreements and accommodating alcoholism

A recent arbitrator’s decision concerned the enforceability of a pre-treatment agreement allowing an employer to terminate a unionized employee if he failed to abstain from the consumption of alcohol.

 

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Another failure to implement random alcohol and drug testing policy in the workplace

drug testing

Suncor Energy Inc. has recently attempted to implement a mandatory, random drug and alcohol testing policy among employees in “safety-sensitive” or “specified” positions at their oil sands work site Fort McMurray, Alberta. These positions are held by about 82 percent of the 3,383 union members employed at the site.

 

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