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Wal-Mart’s “deplorable” pre and post termination conduct results in a sizeable $750,000.00 moral and punitive damages award

Recently, in Galea v. Wal-Mart (2017 ONSC 245) the Ontario Superior Court released a decision in a wrongful termination matter involving a Wal-Mart Executive Gail Galea (“Galea”) and the “reprehensible” termination conduct of Wal-Mart. In addition to the usual wrongful termination damages such as salary, benefits, bonuses, etc., the Court awarded a whopping $750,000.00 in moral and punitive damages combined.

 

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Workers now eligible for WSIB benefits for chronic mental stress and workplace harassment

The recent changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act may well be a blessing for employees without other remedy or recourse. At this time, it appears possible that employees who have been subject to chronic workplace stress may be able to apply to the WSIB for some form of benefit. What the WSIB and the WSIAT do with this new entitlement is yet to be seen.

 

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Is the rule of law at risk in Ontario?

Rule of law

Recently I concluded that the rule of law no longer applies in many Ontario workplaces. The epiphany hit me when I was meeting with the Managing Director of a boutique law firm.

 

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Sexual harassment house of cards

Another week, another list of public allegations of sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment against high profile men in the entertainment industry, politics and beyond. The onslaught of allegations, which began in earnest with the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, followed soon after by allegations against what appears to be almost every other man in Hollywood, created a #MeToo movement indicating that it is a rare occurrence for a woman to have not been abused or harassed, with many instances work-related.

 

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Supreme Court of Canada confirms that all workplace harassment is protected – even by third parties

In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that human rights legislation is to be interpreted broadly and purposively and specifically found that the protection against workplace harassment is not limited to conduct perpetrated by an individual’s employer or co-worker. This decision will have significant implications for employers and employees alike.

 

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Update concerning the legalization of marijuana

Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts was introduced in the House of Commons on April 13, 2017. In response to the developments taking place at the federal level, provinces and territories have become active in creating provisions for their particular jurisdictions. The goal is to implement a regulatory framework in particular provinces or territories in anticipation of the legalization of non-medical cannabis in July 2018.

 

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Welcome to 2018 with new employment and labour law rules and obligations across Canada

As most of you already know, a number of new or amended laws and regulations came into effect on January 1 or will come into force later in 2018 across Canada, including marijuana legalization and higher minimum wages in Ontario, Alberta and other jurisdictions. Here is a brief reminder of the new or amended rules you need to be aware of and implement to ensure compliance.

 

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Employee’s secret recording of meetings with management contributes to finding of just cause for dismissal

A recent decision from the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench supports that an employee’s use of his work phone to secretly record meetings with management may support an employer’s decision to terminate for just cause.

 

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Top 10 most-read First Reference Talks blog posts for 2017

This year on the First Reference Talks blog we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in employment and labour law and employee management. Apart from the issue of cannabis in the workplace, there seems to be varied topics making it on the list this year. Here’s the full top 10 list of the most-read First Reference Talks blog posts from our regular bloggers for 2017:

 

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Public holiday reminders for the 2017-18 holiday season

The holidays can either be considered the most relaxing time of year or the most stressful. It is a time where families and friends gather, gifts are exchanged and countless desserts are indulged. However, leading to that point of unwinding can be stressful for many, with the balancing of family demands and workplace year-end pressures.

 

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5 employment law predictions for 2018

What’s in store in 2017 for HR and payroll

‘Tis the Season and 2017 is coming to a close. With this, I am predicting some of the trends to follow from an employment law perspective of 2018. Here are 5 trends to follow in the new year.

 

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Working notice inappropriate for employees who cannot work

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded an employee on leave due to disability, damages representing the salary he would have earned had he been able to work during the working notice period set by his employer.

 

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Ontario Passes Bill 148

On November 22, 2017, the Ontario government passed Bill 148, which includes amendments to the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), the Labour Relations Act (“LRA”) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). On November 27, 2017, Bill 148 received Royal Assent.

 

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Free prescription drug coverage for Ontario youth

Starting January 1st, 2018, prescription drugs will be free for Ontarians aged 24 and under. Ontario’s Youth Pharmacare, also known as OHIP+, is the first universal drug program of its kind in Canada. It represents a major step forward in providing health care savings for individuals, families, and employers alike.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, new payroll rates and Bill 148’s amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

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