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Author Archive - Doug Macleod

For the past 25 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising and representing employers in connection with employee terminations. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at doug@macleodlawfirm.ca. Read more

Employee or contractor? That is the $64,000 question

For over 25 years, clients have been asking me whether a person is an employee or a contractor in various legal contexts.

 

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Accommodating the disabled employee: The individual accommodation plan

For many years, Ontario employers have been obliged to accommodate disabled employees unless it results in undue hardship. Effective January 1, 2016, a new concept under this duty, the individual accommodation plan obliges employers to…

 

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Wrongful dismissal: The latest from Ontario’s Court of Appeal

Even though Ontario judges have been using the same test for 55 years to determine how much notice of termination an employee is entitled to receive, employees and employers continue to disagree on an appropriate notice period in individual cases.

 

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Top 10 employment law stories of 2015

Seasons change; employment laws change and the last four seasons saw many changes to Ontario’s employment laws. In fact, 2015 will be known as the year the Kathleen Wynne government started implementing its rather ambitious employment law agenda… changes were made to a number of laws including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Employment Standards Act, and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

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Sexual harassment becoming a health & safety issue in Ontario

On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government tabled Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act which, among other things, amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to make workplace sexual harassment a health and safety issue.

 

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Keeping up to date with three important Ontario employment laws

It is extremely difficult for small businesses to keep up to date on Ontario’s employment laws. This blog summarizes three laws that apply to Ontario workplaces.

 

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Damage awards for sexual harassment/sexual assault on the rise

Last month, I wrote about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $150,000 from her former employer by filing a complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This month, I am writing about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $300,000 from her former employer using Ontario’s court system.

 

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Employee awarded $ 150 000 in general damages for sexual harassment

Since 2008, adjudicators appointed under the Ontario Human Rights Code have had the power to award unlimited general damages as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. Since that time however, very few adjudicators have awarded more than $ 40.000 and most awards are under $ 20.000.

 

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It’s never okay: The Ontario government’s action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment

On March 6, 2015 Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne tabled “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment” The Ontario government plans to introduce legislation to support this Action Plan in the fall. I agree It’s Never Okay but I don’t think the government’s action plan is the best way to affect change.

 

Quitting because of intolerable working conditions

An employee has the right to quit and claim damages for constructive dismissal if an employer’s treatment of the employee was so bad that it makes continued employment intolerable.

 

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Is there a duty to investigate a human rights complaint?

An employer is not explicitly required to investigate a discrimination complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code and, in 2013, the Ontario Divisional Court concluded there is no freestanding duty to investigate.

 

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The top 10 employment law stories of 2014

Here is a list of 10 cases that changed the employment law landscape in 2014.

 

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Twitter terminations: Sexist tweets found to constitute just cause for termination

Since the beginning of time, employees have privately complained about work and made inappropriate comments to friends and family. Today, however, this venting is happening over the Internet. The internet has major reach and many employees, including professors, sports figures, comedians and writers, have already been terminated because of their Facebook and Twitter activity.

 

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Ontario’s Liberal government introduces employee friendly laws

On November 6, 2014, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 received third reading at the Ontario legislature. When Bill 18 receives Royal Assent several significant changes will take effect that will benefit employees.

 

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Accommodating employees with mental disabilities

Research estimates that almost one in five Canadian adults will experience a mental illness or addiction. In the last version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – The Fifth Edition (or DSM-5)the number of recognized mental disabilities increased.

 

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