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What you don’t know can hurt you: A new wave of WSIB claims for chronic mental stress

On May 17, 2017, Bill 127 (Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act) received Royal Assent. The Bill modified the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to allow WSIB benefits for workers who suffer from chronic mental stress in the course of their employment.


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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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Dealing with workplace bullying

In an era that focuses on collaboration and open workspaces, workplace bullying has increasingly be on the rise. When trying to understand bullying that takes place at work, it is important first to be able to define workplace bullying. It is defined by OSACH (Ontario Safety Association for Community & Healthcare) as repeated, persistent, continuous behavior as opposed to a single negative act. All individuals within an organization should understand the difference between normal work conflict and tenacious management, and the continuous act of a bully.


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Zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies

Rarely has a phrase been so well-intentioned yet so fraught with pitfalls as “zero tolerance”.


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Ostracism is different from harassment – and sometimes worse

You might have seen instances of bullying or harassment at your workplace—we certainly hear about them frequently—but have you witnessed ostracism? A series of recent studies by Canadian researchers find that social exclusion is distinct from direct harassment and bullying, and can actually be more insidious.


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British Columbia workers’ compensation policies take effect Friday, November 1

In March 2013, the Workers’ Compensation Board released three new policies on the duties of employers, workers and supervisors with respect to workplace bullying and harassment. These policies come into effect on Friday, November 1, 2013.


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Solid evidentiary burden to prove constructive dismissal due to poisoned work environment


In a recent decision, General Motors of Canada Limited v. Johnson, the Ontario Court of Appeal provided clarity on an employee’s burden of proof when alleging constructive dismissal based on a poisoned work environment.


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HRinfodesk Poll result and commentary: The presence of psychological risks or mental illnesses in the workplace

The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace standard was released on January 16, 2013, by the Canadian Standards Association. Canadian companies and employees across the country can turn to a new national standard to help them identify and address psychological risks and mental health issues in the workplace. We wanted to know if employers were aware of any cases of psychological risks or mental illnesses in their workplaces. This is why our last poll asked readers: Have you encountered employees who suffer from psychological risks or mental illnesses (i.e., depression, bipolar) in your workplace?


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Psychological health & safety in the workplace: Now more important than ever

As of January 2013, Canada is now the first country in the world to adopt a national standard for mental health in the workplace. Several health and safety and human rights legislation across Canada already address providing safe and healthy workplaces, the prevention of harassment that includes bullying, sexual harassment, and discrimination based on disability which includes mental illnesses. However, this new standard now gives employers and employees support to make their workplaces psychologically safe and healthy.


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New case helps to further define the difference between “workplace harassment” and “legitimate management conduct”

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (“the Board”) has provided additional legal interpretation of workplace harassment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) in Amodeo v Craiglee Nursing Home Limited, 2012 CanLII 53919 (ON LRB), which was decided on September 19th, 2012. In drawing a clear distinction between “workplace harassment” and “legitimate management conduct”, the Board has provided some welcome direction on this sometimes contentious workplace issue.


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Slaw: ‘Gay-Straight Alliances’ in schools part of anti-bullying Bill

Through Standing Committee on Social Policy hearings, the government heard that students should be allowed to call student-led, single-issue groups specifically “Gay-Straight Alliances” or other similar names. This has angered some Christians, among them Evangelical and Catholic groups as well as their leaders, who feel that this Bill would force them to allow clubs with the name “Gay-Straight Alliance” in their schools. They feel accepting such a premise violates their beliefs, Charter rights and religious freedom.


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Most viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

  Workplace bully’s tirade amounts to constructive dismissal When a general manager at a health club felt repeatedly harassed by one of the owners, he claimed the company constructively dismissed him… (In PDF) MOL releases OHSA reprisal guidance for workers and employers The Ontario Ministry of Labour has released a guide for workers and employers […]


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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…


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Cyber-libel and the quest for information about workplace bullying

Without any question whatsoever it is smart for organizations and those who manage them to address issues of workplace bullying. It is not only smart but, since about this time last year, it is the law!


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When aggression and the workplace collide

Aggression sometimes occurs in the workplace. That is a fact! And when conflicts are left unresolved, employers have employees resigning or taking tremendous amounts of sick leave to deal with these issues, or the aggression crosses the line into assault or battery, or you receive a human rights or occupational health and safety complaint.


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