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Union Relations

Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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Is it work-related? Novel workers’ compensation decisions deal with harassment and assault #learnthelatest

It may seem fairly obvious when a worker breaks her leg “in the course of employment”. However, injuries and illnesses related to bullying and harassment have drawn significant attention in recent years, and decisions from various workers’ compensation tribunals across the country illustrate that determining the work-relatedness of such injuries is no simple task.

 

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The end of accommodation? Frustration of the employment contract as a last resort

One of the goals of legislation such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Human Rights Code is to promote accessibility and accommodation in various forums, including the workplace. However, when it becomes clear that, despite accommodating an employee to the point of undue hardship, a disabled employee will never again be able to return to his or her job or be accommodated in another position, what can an employer do?

 

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Will distracted driving kill your employees?

Operating a motor vehicle for work is more than driving a truck, cab or ambulance. Anyone driving from home to a location different from their usual workplace, or travelling for work, is usually “in the course of employment” under workers’ compensation law. Thus distracted driving is very much an employer responsibility and risk.

 

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You can fire someone without saying so, but even “I quit” may not be a resignation

We all know that most Judges will try to protect employees when they can, as the perception is that employers have greater resources. In recent times, my firm has written about the dangers of accepting resignations too quickly and the need to allow an employee who purports to quit some time to cool down and reconsider. Another recent case adopted a similarly protection approach but in a very different context: the unintentional dismissal. While you may not have heard of this concept before, it is, apparently, a thing.

 

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Private member’s Bill seeks union-favourable amendments, without waiting for the Changing Workplaces Review #learnthelatest

Although the final report from the Changing Workplaces Review is not expected until later this year, the Ontario New Democratic Party introduced a private member bill on April 4, 2017 aiming, among other things, to make it easier for workers to unionize their workplaces.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: MOL blitz schedule for 2017–18; Ontario Budget 2017–18; and corporate directors who were found liable for employees’ unpaid wages.

 

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Proposal to legalize marijuana: What does this mean for employers?

On April 13, 2017, Bill C-45, An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, was introduced by the federal government in order to enact the Cannabis Act. You may be wondering, what does this mean for employers?

 

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Denial of coverage for medical marijuana under employee benefit plan found to be discriminatory

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Board found the Trustees’ justifications for denying an employee’s request for coverage to be “wholly inadequate.” The Plan provided coverage for “reasonable and customary charges incurred for medically necessary drugs and medicines” obtained legally by prescription, and did not require a DIN as a condition of coverage.

 

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Generous termination clauses: Think twice before making promises #learnthelatest

Many employers include termination clauses in employment contracts to limit their liability when dismissing employees. When employers draft generous termination provisions providing for more than statutory minimums, they must follow through on that generosity when terminating employees. Failing to do so could leave employers exposed to full liability under the common law.

 

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Official Day of Mourning to commemorate work related injuries and deaths

On April 28, 80 countries worldwide will mark an official Day of Mourning to commemorate those workers who have suffered work related injuries, illnesses and deaths.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation; overview of Bill C-45 to legalize marijuana; and Budget 2017 Bill to implement employment insurance measures.

 

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Have you amended your pension plan?

The Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) was recently amended. In this communiqué, we briefly review those amendments.

 

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Preparing for interactions with the MOL: Workplace visits

How do we prepare for a visit form a MOL inspector? The easiest and best way is to be prepared for the visit. Employers can no longer simply go merrily along and not put in place plans and programs to ensure the safety of all their employees. Remember, it is not “if and Inspector will walk through the door, It is when”. It will happen!

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: whether an amount paid to a taxpayer on retirement qualifies as a retiring allowance; whether criminal charges alone for off-duty conduct is enough for just cause dismissal; when moral damages are to be awarded in a wrongful dismissal case.

 

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