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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 five cases of importance to Ontario employment law – 2017 edition

2017 has been an incredibly busy year for Ontario employment law practitioners. In addition to the changes to the common law brought about by the decisions considered in this post, one would be foolish to omit any reference to the sweeping changes recently ushered in by the Wynne government as a result of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, S.O. 2017 C.22 (“Bill 148”).

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First Reference annual holiday donation, season’s greetings and holiday break

2016 Top 10 First Reference Talks

We will be taking a break for the holidays. Please note that our offices and Ask the Editor service will be closed from Friday, December 22, 2017 at noon to Monday, January 1, 2018, inclusive.

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the new Employment Standards Regulation completing Bill 17, the payroll rates for 2018 and the Hays Canada 2018 salary guide.

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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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Top 10 employment law cases of 2017

Here is a list of the cases which changed employment law in Canada in 2017 (in no particular order). Note that some of these cases are not yet published on CanLII and therefore, there is no link available.

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HRTO issues rare interim order based on family status

As common as an interim order or decision may be, it is uncommon that the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may issue an order that institutes compliance on the part of the respondent prior to the conclusion of the matter. Such was the case Tomlinson v. Runnymede Healthcare Centre.

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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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$750,000 in moral and punitive damages awarded to employee left to “twist in the wind”

At almost 100 pages, Galea is a hefty case with many facets not touched upon in the above summary. That said, it marks the latest in a trend of Ontario courts issuing ever higher awards for bad employer conduct in both dismissal and subsequent litigation.

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