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Family status: The employee’s obligation under “the Code”

The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.

 

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Additional employer obligations? Domestic and sexual violence

As of the writing of this blog, Bill 26 has passed second reading and is before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly for consultation and, so it remains to be seen if the above changes will come into force. That said, with the recent legislative attention on protecting employees with respect to sexual harassment and violence, it is likely that employers may soon need to revisit their policies and programs to account for domestic and sexual violence.

 

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The AODA Employment Standards: Are you meeting the new requirements?

We know that the AODA employment standards requirements are demanding because we have heard about the challenges from those organizations with 50+ employees that were obligated to comply in January 2016. Smaller employers with fewer resources may need additional assistance to keep track of the project, including reviewing, updating and implementing many HR forms and documents such as job offers, employment contracts, job postings and applications to ensure they are consistent with the new accessibility standards.

 

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Accommodation and when employees don’t engage in the process

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) released a very important development on family status discrimination, in a case that intersects with disability accommodation law. In Misetich v Value Village Stores, the tribunal reviewed the caselaw, including the Federal Court of Appeal’s Johnstone case, and clarified its test for accommodating family status requests in the workplace.

 

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Disability as a variable – A new optic

Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.

 

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Definition of disability and the Ontario Human Rights Commission

When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.

 

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Is the recent increased support for Pride reflected in current legislation affecting employment?

July 3, 2016 marked the first time a Canadian Prime Minister marched in Toronto’s Pride parade. But some may be wondering, ‘Do Canadian laws currently protect LGBT rights in the workplace, and have they kept up with the evolving climate of increased inclusion?’ The answer depends on the particular jurisdiction involved because the issue is addressed in human rights legislation across Canada.

 

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Addressing the effect that two new proposed Ontario statutory leaves may have on your organization #learnthelatest

First Reference Talks readers and 2016 Employment Law Conference attendees were introduced to two new proposed leaves in Ontario, Employee Leave of Absence When Child Dies and Domestic and Sexual Violence Workplace Leave. In order to get a further grasp on what the two new proposed leaves would mean for employers, I went to employment law lawyer Frank Portman of Stringer LLP to ask a few questions I thought our readers would want answers to.

 

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Silence proves costly: employment agreements and reasonable notice

Employers who fail to incorporate a binding termination clause into their written employment agreements may face significant, and unexpected, liability for severance. This lesson was learned the hard way by Qualified Metal Fabricators (“QML”) in a recent case out of Toronto.

 

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Allergies in the workplace

Many people across the world face allergies that have an effect on every aspect of their lives, including the workplace. These allergies can impose difficulties on either being in a workplace or performing certain tasks in their job. One thing for employers to note is that if the allergy is severe enough, it would probably be considered a disability and must be accommodated appropriately.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan; a human rights matter that addresses accommodation and mental disability; and a workplace safety and insurance matter that addresses modified work and entitlement to loss of earnings benefits.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An FAQ that addresses an employee harassment complaint; a case that looks at accommodating an employee with a disability; and a notification regarding upcoming minimum wage increases in British Columbia.

 

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Accommodation of childcare

In the following case, a breach of human rights legislation was found where the employer refused to allow the employee to have the summer off in order to look after her autistic child.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: The federal government’s announcement regarding changes to parental leave rules; a case that looks at discrimination based on disability and the accommodation provided by the employer; and an FAQ that addresses whether employees on maternity or parental leave are allowed to extend their leave using accrued vacation.

 

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More time, more money: New, unique Employment Standards Act leaves proposed by legislature #learnthelatest

There are currently two Bills before the Ontario legislature which would designate new leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). Outside of introducing the new leaves and obligations on employers, these Bills could be the canary in the coalmine for further extensive increases to leave entitlements under the ESA.

 

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