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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Author Archive - Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, First Reference Talks blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of payroll, employment and labour law, payroll, HR analytics, corporate immigration, accessibility related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at editor@firstreference.com. If you liked this post, subscribe to First Reference Talks blog to get regular updates.

5 Key Changes to Newfoundland & Labrador’s OHS Workplace Violence & Harassment Prevention obligations effective January 1, 2020

Violence and harassment is an unfortunate reality of society – and of the workplace. Since April 1, 2019 (when New Brunswick’s new workplace anti-violence and harassment regulations took effect) every Canadian province and territory has an occupational health and safety regulatory scheme dealing specifically with workplace violence.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal says “moral blameworthiness” a factor in sentencing for Occupational Health and Safety Act offences

In the recent decision in Ontario (Labour) v New Mex Canada Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal found that it may be appropriate to impose harsher sentences for offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act where offenders’ conduct shows elevated “moral blameworthiness”.

 

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5 questions to consider when exploring the duty to accommodate

Canadian human rights law also imposes a duty to accommodate. This requires employers to ensure that persons with characteristics protected under the Code are not unfairly excluded where working conditions can be adjusted.

 

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Canada without barriers to accessibility by 2040

On November 27, 2018, the House of Commons passed Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada, also known as the Accessible Canada Act (the “Act”). The Act received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019 and will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

 

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Aucun obstacle à l’accessibilité au Canada d’ici 2040

Le 27 novembre 2018, la Chambre des communes a adopté le projet de loi C-81, Loi visant à faire du Canada un pays exempt d’obstacles, également connu sous le nom de Loi canadienne sur l’accessibilité (la « Loi »). La Loi a reçu la sanction royale le 21 juin 2019 et entrera en vigueur à la date fixée par décret du gouverneur en conseil.

 

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WorkSafeBC mental disorder presumption

egulatory changes took effect on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 that expanded the presumption for mental health disorders caused by work. The presumption only applies to WorkSafeBC claims and eligible occupations. The initial list of eligible occupations included:

 

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The most common mistakes made in Quebec vacation policies

As employment counsel, we routinely work with employers to identify issues with their policies and practices as they relate to vacation (annual leave) and vacation pay under Quebec’s An act respecting labour standards. In this post, we identify four of the most common errors and misconceptions made by employers.

 

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Canadian government introduces tax legislation applying to employee stock options granted on or after January 1, 2020

Under the Income Tax Act (Canada), when an employee exercises an employee stock option and acquires shares, the employee realizes a taxable employment benefit equal to the excess of the value of the shares at the time of acquisition over the exercise price paid for the shares.

 

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BC’s 14 protected grounds of discrimination

The Federal government, along with every province and territory in Canada, has human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds such as race, gender and disability in a number of public environments.

 

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Supreme Court to hear arguments about enforceability of arbitration clauses

On May 23, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in Uber Technologies Inc., et al. v. David Heller (the Uber Class Action). At issue is an arbitration clause in the Uber driver service agreement that requires all claims be arbitrated in the Netherlands, regardless of size.

 

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Common law reasonable notice of termination for independent contractors?

In the recent decision in Cormier v 1772887 Ontario Limited, an Ontario Superior Court judge stated that in some circumstances it would be reasonable to consider an employee’s years of service as an independent contractor in calculating his or her common law reasonable notice period.

 

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The Bikini Bistro and discrimination in the restaurant industry

An article recently came across my news feed that gave me pause. A new restaurant will be opening in Kamloops, BC, with a ‘unique’ dress code. As the name suggests, the Teenie Bikini Bistro will serve typical pub-style fare served by – wait for it –

 

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Calculating severance: What do the courts say?

In the past I have written about the different factors that are considered in assessing severance for a termination. Being a lawyer, I also provided the standard cop-out that “there is no formula for determining reasonable notice or severance amounts”.

 

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Hiring international students to address Canadian skills shortages – Immigration considerations

Canada’s immigration policies have been designed to allow foreign students attending school in Canada to obtain work experience in Canada. Many international students will also be able to eventually transition to Canadian permanent resident status.

 

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Ontario amends pension legislation to address electronic beneficiary designations

While legislation existing prior to the introduction of section 30.1.1 (namely, the SLRA and Electronic Commerce Act (Ontario) (ECA)) may be reasonably interpreted to already permit electronic beneficiary designations in pension and certain other contexts, it did not contain an express provision addressing the point.

 

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