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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.

Preparing for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada: What employers should know

On October 17, 2018, the federal government’s Cannabis Act comes into force, ushering in a new regulatory model for the possession and use of certain types of cannabis. At the same time, provincial governments will enact their own provincial cannabis statutes, such as Ontario’s Cannabis Act.

 

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Countdown to Nov 1: Don’t miss MB’s due date for accessibility policies

Human resources professionals in most businesses are likely in the best position to quarterback this accessiblity policy development and training, but leaders throughout each business should collaborate in order to be able to clearly identify what barriers exist and what potential low cost/no cost strategies might best address such barriers.

 

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Weed at work: What are your rights?

The law on marijuana is changing. However, employers who prepare themselves for the legalization of recreational marijuana should not be overly anxious. Of course, if preparation does not help calm your nerves, there will be a new (legal) way to mellow out come October.

 

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Creating a better onboarding process to ensure employees represent company values

Setting up an intentional and well-designed onboarding process is critical for companies who want staff to represent their company values. The first day and first several weeks on the job have a significant influence on whether employees embrace company values and whether they stay for the long haul.

 

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Law firm loses to ex-lawyer over unpaid vacation and holiday pay

This decision in this case affirms that entitlements and obligations need to be clearly outlined out in employment agreements. Courts will almost always resolve ambiguities in favour of employees.

 

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Solve workplace parking problems in no time

Workers who commute to their offices by car can be exposed to situations that put them at a disadvantage at their workplaces due to parking-related lateness or tension between workmates over parking spots. According to the research, over half (54%) of office workers are risking job prospects because of such incidents.

 

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The right to purreavement leave in Ontario

Nothing prevents employers from providing their workers with benefits greater than the minimum standards provided by the ESA. Will this extend to leave when a pet dies or leave when a young pet is adopted?

 

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The L-Visa: An attractive option for Canadian companies

In the right circumstances, the L-Visa category is a great option for a Canadian company looking to send employees to United States to work out of their American parent, branch or subsidiary company.

 

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Differential treatment in pension and benefit plans based on date of hire now prohibited in Québec (or is it really?)

health-benefits

There is no question that Bill 176, An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards, removes some flexibility in plan design going forward. That being said, there are still ways to structure plan design changes that will achieve the employer’s objectives without running afoul of the prohibition under Bill 176

 

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Managing employee risk requires a culture of compliance

Companies need to know how to measure and analyze compliance data so they can take any necessary actions before something unethical or illegal happens. High-quality data sources with predictive power enable companies to assess their current culture of compliance and take prompt action when needed.

 

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Lack of clear warning voids termination provision

It has become harder and harder to have a binding termination provision in an employment agreement, but it can still be done. Several cases provide further details.

 

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Ontario pension reforms – Where are they now?

The pace of pension reforms in Ontario has been fast-moving since the release of the Ontario Budget on March 28, 2018. Among other things, the Budget announced continued work on the new funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and related increases to coverage under the Pension Benefits Guarantee Fund, a consultation on a new funding framework for target benefit multi-employer pension plans, consultations regarding new protections for plan members affected by employer insolvencies, and continued work on the new pension and financial services regulator, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

 

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The duty to accommodate mental disability: 5 practical tips to help employers mentally prepare

Employers aren’t expected to be experts in mental health or mental disability. Mental illness and the mental disability it can cause are complex medical issues, and there may be times when the employer needs to seek expert medical advice or guidance.

 

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What will the provincial election mean for labour and employment law?

With the Ontario provincial election looming, the three major political parties are on very different paths with their plans for for labour and employment law. The Liberals seem to be aiming to maintain the status quo. The Progressive Conservatives are aiming to freeze minimum wage and the New Democratic Party has plans for sweeping changes to both the labour and employment law regimes.

 

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Proposed changes to the Quebec Act respecting labour standards: What employers need to know

On March 20, the Quebec Minister of Labour introduced Bill 176, amending the Act respecting Labour Standards (the “LSA”). The Bill proposes sweeping changes to the LSA.

 

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