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Health and Safety

Q&A: Frustration of employment

Q&A is a recurring series on the Vey Willetts LLP blog. The aim is to provide quick answers to questions we commonly encounter in our day-to-day practice of employment law. In this edition, we focus on “frustration of employment.”

 

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Boosting safety performance in the workplace

Safety program implementation is crucial within the workplace, but without the ongoing cooperation of employees to uphold safety performance, safety hazards become a greater risk.

 

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Frustration of contract can be resolved by summary judgment – Does not require a trial

Is a stated “desire” to return to work, at some point, and without more information, sufficient to rebut the medical evidence that a contract of employment has become legally frustrated?

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with pay increases in 2020, employee burnout and tax payments for RRSP contributions.

 

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Workplace harassment provisions coming to the Canada Labour Code

As many of you know, several new amendments to the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) came into effect on September 1st. Employers cannot rest just yet – even bigger changes are expected to arrive in 2020 in relation to workplace harassment and violence.

 

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Objective evidence required when attempting to limit or deny an employee’s accommodation request

Recent Ontario human rights jurisprudence has reaffirmed many of the principles associated with the employer’s duty to accommodate. In particular, when assessing accommodation requests, employers need not apply/accept each accommodation request, but must ensure that they are only denying or limiting lawful accommodation requests in the presence of sufficient evidence to support the limitation or denial.

 

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“Desire to Work” is not enough: Appellate court upholds dismissal for frustration of contract

The decision in this case makes it clear that it is not enough for an employee with a disability to merely inform his or her employer of a desire to return to work. The employer’s duty to accommodate will only be triggered when the employee provides the employer with evidence of his or her ability to return to work, including any disability-related needs or restrictions.

 

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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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Believing women while remaining neutral: Conducting sexual harassment and sexual violence investigations in a post-#metoo world

As in all investigations, the only way to sort out information that does not seem to make sense is to ask. In the case of complainants who may have experienced a traumatic event, asking such questions in a calm, non-judgmental way is more important than ever.

 

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Financial disclosure required for sentencing only in exceptional circumstances

A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Justice suggests that extraordinary circumstances are required in order for a defendant to be compelled to produce financial documents to the Crown for the purposes of a sentencing hearing.

 

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Workplace investigation alert – Injunctions in investigations: Do they ever work?

There is no question that workplace investigations are disruptive and difficult for the parties involved. Sometimes parties are removed from the workplace or their duties are modified. Complainants and respondents are often concerned about damage to their reputations and their careers once it is known that a complaint has been made, and that an investigation is being conducted. Can an investigation ever be shut down in anticipation of this disruption?

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with supporting return to work, assessing job applicants with temporary work experience and rolling back labour relations reforms.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the aging workforce implications, calculation of reasonable notice for a contractor and the significant changes to the Canada Labour Code coming into force in September.

 

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