First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Bill 168

Avoid workplace holiday horror stories

Here are a few suggestions on how to keep the busy holiday season a safe and enjoyable one at your workplace.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Workplace violence & harassment: A policy is not enough!

Last month brought some tragic reminders of the reality of workplace violence and harassment and the obligations that employers have under Occupational Health and Safety Act).

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OLRB opens the door to harassment reprisal complaints under the OHSA

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) recently made an important decision which may represent a significant shift in how it approaches allegations that employers have engaged in reprisals against workers who have filed harassment complaints.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Assessing the risk of violence at work

Companies have had almost 3 years to implement violence and harassment prevention in the workplace provisions under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act , OHSA (also known as Bill 168). Like other items in the OHSA, obligations on employers to prevent workplace violence and harassment with written policies and programs require ongoing commitment, training, and review. A few highlights of some of the requirements that employers with five or more employees must demonstrate include:

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OLRB rules that Ontario employer liable for failing to comply with Bill 168

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has recently found a Company to be in breach of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to comply with its duties under the workplace violence and harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (section 32) (formerly Bill 168).

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

So when is a threat just cause for dismissal?

A recent decision rendered by an Ontario Arbitrator raises questions about the hard line that seemed to have been taken by adjudicators as a result of An Act to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act with respect to violence and harassment in the workplace and other matters (formerly Bill 168), which amended the Occupational Health & Safety Act in order to address workplace violence and harassment.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Navigating the issue of domestic violence in the workplace

Ontario’s recently enacted workplace violence amendment places a legal onus on provincially regulated employers to safeguard employees from the risk of domestic violence in the workplace. Additional jurisdictions are likely to follow suit. In legal terms, domestic violence is increasingly becoming a foreseeable workplace risk. In moral terms, inaction on this growing workplace issue would introduce unacceptable human risk.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Could you be liable for workplace violence? Ontario’s OHSA says so

Imagine a situation where your employee is seriously injured by an outside party…

 

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conducting a workplace violence risk assessment: six common pitfalls

Despite the fact that a significant majority of Canadian organizations are legally obligated to conduct workplace violence risk assessments, it appears that uncertainty and inconsistency are commonplace when it comes to the actual conduct of the assessment. This month, we will take a closer look at workplace violence risk assessments: what they are, what they aren’t, common pitfalls in conducting them and some best practice considerations from the available literature.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Important lessons for employers and lawyers on workplace harassment investigations

A hospital employee faced complaints of workplace harassment from co-workers, and the hospital imposed discipline on him, including a demotion. The employee’s union subsequently filed a grievance with the labour relations board. The hospital retained the services of an independent outside investigator who was also a practicing lawyer. When the union requested access to the investigation report, the hospital claimed solicitor-client privilege, and refused to hand it over…

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Landmark decision gives insight into workplace harassment and employer reprisal

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has provided what some believe to be the most significant legal interpretation yet of workplace harassment and employer reprisal in the context of the recently enacted Bill 168 amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The case, Conforti v. Investia Financial Services Inc., 2011, was decided on September 23, 2011.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Does over-sensitivity lead to harassment? The preventive value of respect

“Excessive claims of workplace harassment are a sign that our society has become far too sensitive and it really needs to stop.” This is the message I received from workshop participants this week during a group discussion on the topic of the prevention of workplace harassment and discrimination. But is it true?

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Can I be disciplined for off-duty behaviour?

“I am at a party on my day off and a coworker hurls racial insults at me or makes sexual suggestive comments to me.” Am I protected by my employer’s harassment and discrimination policy? Likewise, if I am the one doing the hurling or suggestive commenting, am I subject to discipline under my employer’s policies?

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Employers must now treat verbal threats as serious offences under the OHSA’s definition of workplace violence

A recent labour arbitrator’s decision—to uphold the City of Kingston’s right to terminate a 28-year employee for issuing a verbal threat against a co-worker—was based in large part on the arbitrator’s view that “the classification of threatening language as workplace violence” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act represents a “clear and significant change” to the law in Ontario.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Workplace violence and privacy: what’s the connection?

So here’s a question to ask yourself—what are your legal obligations under Ontario law when you see an online photo of your worker committing violent acts?

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts