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Human Rights

Workplace investigation alert: BC case shows how employers should NOT handle workplace harassment

A recent case from British Columbia, Wells v. Langley Senior Resources Society, is a useful example of how an employer should not handle workplace harassment.

 

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HRTO confirms co-op student’s right to pursue interests

Co-op students may be covered by the “Code”, and should be afforded the same inalienable rights as all other employees during a potential interview or  co-op placement.

 

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2018 will be a pivotal year for employers and HR managers in Ontario – #LearnTheLatest

With most of the amendments of Bill 148 now in effect—along with significant updates to OHS and WCB provisions, the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana, and more on the way—there are many substantial changes employers in Ontario have to deal with now and throughout 2018.

 

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The Supreme Court of Canada interprets workplace discrimination broadly

In British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada considered the scope of section 13(1) of BC’s Human Rights Code, which concerns discrimination “regarding employment or any term or condition of employment.”

 

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Improving accessibility standards for employment

Accessibility sign

The Ontario government is updating the accessibility standards for employment to make employment more accessible to people with disabilities.

 

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Good Friday, Easter and Passover in 2018

Good Friday, observed on March 30 this year, is a statutory (public) holiday recognized across Canada. Depending on the jurisdiction, most employees are entitled to a day off with regular pay or public holiday pay.

 

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Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario: the “Code” matters, not social norms

Although there may be social norms at play, a business owner would do well to continue to update and implement workplace and human rights policies on an ongoing basis, otherwise, they may be liable for any breach of the “Code”, whether intended or otherwise.

 

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BCHRT considers the duty to inquire as to the presence of a mental disability

Is it the employer’s duty to inquire whether an employee has a mental disability? The BCHRT recently considered a case that addresses this. Generally, before an employer can be required to accommodate an employee’s mental disability, the employer must know, or ought reasonably to know, that the employee has such a disability in the first […]

 

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The latest on the legality of random drug and alcohol testing

This blog summarizes a recent arbitration award where a union challenged an employer’s random drug testing policy at a coal mine.

 

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A primer total disability and psychiatric conditions

Generally speaking, claim liability, whether through an employment group policy or an individual policy, mandates that a claimant suffer a total disability. Contrary to what most HR departments often think, total disability in the context of disability insurance does not mean that an employee must be completely helpless and incapable of any activity. Rather, total […]

 

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No reason given for refusal of HRTO request to expedite, no reasons required

In this matter, the Request to Expedite was dismissed through a letter from the Registrar. In the interim decision, the Tribunal further explained that in matters dealing with process, there are no grounds for reconsideration, as only final orders may be reconsidered.

 

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Bill C-65 – Amendments to the Canada Labour Code dealing with sexual harassment and violence

Federally-regulated employers, including those covered by the PESRA, should consider whether Bill C-65’s proposed changes require an examination or revision of current policies and practices on workplace violence or harassment.

 

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Projet de loi C-65 – Modifications au Code canadien du travail portant sur le harcèlement et la violence sexuels

Dans la foulée des allégations d’inconduite sexuelle, les débats devraient commencer sur le projet de loi C‑65 du gouvernement fédéral. S’il est adopté, ce projet de loi renforcerait les protections contre la violence et le harcèlement au travail, y compris le harcèlement et la violence sexuels, dans les milieux de travail de réglementation fédérale.

 

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Sexual harassment and Valentine’s Day

Employers need to be aware of the sexual tensions at play in an office, or risk being held liable for failing to address a poisoned work environment. For example, if two co-workers had a relationship and then broke up, and one is now showing revealing photos of the other around the office, this likely creates a poisoned work environment for the depicted employee. Though a manager may be tempted to deem the matter personal, the employer has an obligation to protect the employee.

 

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Discrimination or accommodation?

Accessibility legislation in Ontario requires employers to communicate with employees and the public about the availability of accommodation for job applicants with disabilities in both the recruitment process and when making job offers. There is no duty to pro-actively identify an employee’s or candidate’s disability.

 

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