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Author Archive - Piccolo Heath LLP

Prominent Canadian lawyers Patrizia Piccolo and Jennifer Heath have come together as Piccolo Heath LLP, Canada’s newest employment law firm. With more than 30 years combined expertise, the firm was founded with the purpose of delivering outstanding legal counsel and dynamic, client-focused service. Piccolo Heath LLP is focused on guiding clients through the legal landscape to determine the best solutions to their unique issues. The firm is well-versed in current employment-related case law and statutes, but is also highly sensitive to the practical impact of the law on both employers and employees. Read more.

A reasonable expectation of privacy: The application of R v. Jarvis to the employment context

The recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R v. Jarvis addressed the circumstances that give rise to a reasonable expectation of privacy. While the case directly considered whether certain recordings violated the Criminal Code, the Court’s broad analysis of when a reasonable expectation of privacy exists applies outside the criminal context, with relevance to employers.

 

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Refuse, snooze & lose

For workplaces that operate on shift work, dealing with employee refusals to change shifts (especially to night shift) happens all too often.

 

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Harassers, empty your pockets and pay up! Including personal financial accountability for harassment in employment contracts – key considerations

In January, Variety reported about the new position of John Lasseter, the former Pixar head of animation who was the subject of a workplace harassment complaints from Pixar staffers.

 

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What’s love got to do with it? Managing office romances

Happy stories of office relationships are not the ones that give Human Resource managers pause or make employment lawyers nervous. Instead, it’s the remaining portion of office romances that pose potential issues and liability for the employer, and the employees.

 

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Expanding the obligations of federal employers – Anti-harassment and violence provisions to be added to the Canada Labour Code

On October 25, 2018, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1 (the “Act”) received Royal Assent.

 

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Sentenced to probation: How employers can protect themselves when terminating the employment of recent hires

Employers who seek to impose more rigorous oversight of new employees and minimize termination obligations to those employees can rely on appropriately drafted probationary limitations in their offers.

 

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(Don’t) Google it: practical lessons from the global walkout by Google’s employees

On November 1, 2018, thousands of Google employees from around the world – including in Canada – engaged in a coordinated walkout, leaving their respective offices to protest workplace harassment and inequality at the company.

 

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Granting intervener status in cases of sexual harassment – Victims can be more than just witnesses

In the recent Ontario Superior Court decision Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator, Master Andrew Graham found that an employee who claimed that a co-worker sexually harassed her could be granted intervener status at the co-worker’s trial for wrongful dismissal.

 

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Business purchasers use employment contracts to try to ‘cover their assets’ – Can it work?

In the case of Krishnamoorthy v. Olympus Inc., was the offer of employment by the new employer adequate consideration, thus creating a new binding contract?

 

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There’s a tidal shift happening in human rights – Part II are employers ready for Bill 164?

Bill 164 aims to expand the current protection offered by the Ontario Human Rights Code in relation to citizenship, race and place of origin to add immigration status, which will essentially eliminate an employer’s ability to discriminate on the basis of how long someone has been in the country.

 

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Starbucks avoids paying employees for every second worked in California… for now. Do Ontario employers have the same ability?

Employers in Ontario ought to be wary of asking employees to perform any work without pay. Otherwise, they may find themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit and in violation of Ontario employment laws.

 

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There’s a tidal shift happening in human rights – Are employers ready?

The intolerance brought on by the #MeToo movement is being mirrored in Human Rights Tribunal decisions across the country as awards for damages relating to sexual harassment show an upward trend. There are also other changes brewing in human rights law, particularly in Ontario. A recent decision on age discrimination and benefit coverage may require significant amendments to employer benefit plans and resulting costs to employers.

 

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What’s old is new again (for now): Ontario government to review public holiday pay calculations and temporarily reinstate “old” formula effective July 1, 2018

Since the “old” Public Holiday Pay formula will not be reinstated until July 1, 2018, it’s important for employers to ensure they make the appropriate changes to their public holiday pay calculations at the right time.

 

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You found WHAT in the staff room? Handling marijuana use in the workplace before and after recreational marijuana becomes legal

Unusual things can occur in workplaces; however, employers can prepare for some of those things by instituting good policies and practices, particularly in advance of any anticipated change in legislation.

 

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What does equal pay for equal work equal (as of April 1, 2018)?

Equal pay for equal work protections are expanding on April 1, 2018. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) currently prohibits an employer from paying a lower rate to an employee on the basis of the employee’s sex. As of April 1, 2018, employers may no longer pay less to employees because of sex or “differences […]

 

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