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Rewriting employment standards: Gearing up for policy revisions

On Wednesday May 24, 2017, Alberta introduced Bill 17, Fair and Family Friendly Workplace Act, which is its first major overhaul of employment standards in that province since 1996. The proposed amendments to the Employment Standards Code include unpaid leaves for employees (including domestic violence leave), reduced qualification periods for leaves, increased overtime banking rates and amended vacation entitlements, to name a few.

 

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Beyond the final report: Government of Ontario charts its own course following the Changing Workplaces Review

We reported on the Government of Ontario’s release of the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, which comprehensively reviewed Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995. Today, the Government of Ontario announced its intention to introduce The Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act, 2017 in response to the 173 recommendations provided by the Final Report.

 

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Bill 17: Proposed changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

On May 24, 2017, the Government of Alberta tendered and passed first reading of Bill 17: Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal addresses the issue of what constitutes mitigation income

The Court addressed the issue of what constitutes mitigation income for purposes of assessing any required deductions from common law entitlements.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Changing Workplaces Review final report; employee wrongfully dismissed awarded $46,000 in damages; and employer successful in challenging worker’s entitlement to cost relief.

 

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Important decision regarding mitigation of damages following termination

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., recently clarified the law of mitigation.

 

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While there may be damages for employee’s lack of resignation notice, there is no reliable substitute for an enforceable restrictive covenant…

A 2016 decision of the BC Court of Appeal is a good reminder to BC employers of the purpose of an employee’s obligation to provide reasonable notice of resignation and, if breached, what an employer can expect to recover. It also underscores the value of an enforceable restrictive covenant.

 

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Medical marijuana: A high cost to employers? #learnthelatest

A recent case from Nova Scotia illustrates that as laws and social attitudes concerning marijuana change, employers may be burdened with previously unexpected costs.

 

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Changing Workplaces Review final report: Sweeping changes to Ontario employment law coming

On May 23, 2017, the Government of Ontario released the Changing Workplaces Review final report by authors C. Michael Mitchell and John C. Murray. It contains 173 recommendations that endorse significant changes to Ontario employment law aiming to create better workplaces with decent working conditions and widespread compliance with the law. The authors consulted with […]

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Employment law changes coming ($15 minimum wage and more); overtime exemptions under employment standards; and grievance of an employee alleging discrimination based on family status.

 

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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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Employer unsuccessful in voiding unfavourable termination clause

A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal dealt with the unusual situation of a defendant employer arguing that its own contractual termination provision was unenforceable and thus the plaintiff employee was entitled to common law reasonable notice. Employees frequently challenge the enforceability of a termination provision to seek common law notice, however, it is rare that an employer would do the same.

 

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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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Can an employer terminate an employee for just cause if they were charged with a criminal offense?

The laying of a criminal charge alone does not constitute just cause (i.e. dismissal without notice) in every instance. In order to summarily dismiss an employee for being charged with a criminal offense, the employer must show that there is some connection between the charge and the employer.

 

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