First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Canada labour Code

EI benefits: New parent, more time off and more money?

To implement these measures, Budget 2017 proposes to amend the Employment Insurance Act. The Government also proposes to amend the Canada Labour Code to ensure that workers in federally regulated sectors have the job protection they need while they are receiving caregiving, parental or maternity benefits. Workers in provincially regulated sectors will have to wait and see if provincial legislation will also be changed to extend job protection for 18 months. Without job protection, the flexibility to receive EI benefits over a longer period of time will be meaningless.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Genetic discrimination provisions in human rights legislation: Will Ontario be the first Canadian jurisdiction?

Canada is on its way to including provisions in human rights legislation that prevents discrimination based on a person’s genetic characteristics. The issue is that a person can experience discrimination and harassment simply because of something that may be—something that has the potential of happening. Employers must be aware that human rights legislation is in the process of evolving to include provisions to prevent this type of discrimination, and this will apply in the workplace as well.

 

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

Unionized workers hiring their own lawyers: 3 issues

I often receive requests for consultations from unionized workers dissatisfied with their employer, their union or both. Frequently, this dissatisfaction arises out of the worker having a grievance with the company, but he or she feels that they are not receiving proper representation from their union. Before going ahead and hiring a lawyer outside of their union for advocacy, there are 3 challenges that people in this position should know.

 

, , , , , ,

Genetic non-discrimination: Update on Bill S-201

Bill S-201 would prohibit any person from requiring an individual to undergo a genetic test as a condition of: providing goods or services to that individual; entering into or continuing a contract or agreement with that individual; or offering or continuing specific terms or conditions in a contract or agreement with that individual. Those who contravene the rules would be subject to severe penalties.

 

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

Supreme Court of Canada rules that employees of federally-regulated employers cannot be dismissed without cause

The impact of this decision will likely be very substantial for a number of reasons. By requiring federally-regulated employers to always provide just cause when terminating non-unionized employees, the Court significantly expanded on the common law and statutory protections available to a large part of the working population. As a consequence of this decision, employees of federally-regulated employers will now be awarded a significantly higher degree of employment protection than their colleagues in the private sector, whose rights are largely governed by less protective provincial laws.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a case where an employee who was told to, “Get out!” constituted constructive dismissal; a case that addresses the question of whether an employer can restructure the workplace in good faith without constructively dismissing an employee; and a case that looks at whether federally-regulated employees can be terminated without cause.

 

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

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: The federal government’s consultation launch on the Canada Labour Code to provide federally regulated workers more flexibility in their work hours; a matter where the Ontario Court of Appeal deemed that an employer’s financial circumstances is no excuse for unreasonable notice; and a matter that deals with the Ontario Labour Relations Board’s jurisdiction over medical marijuana.

 

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

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

The unpaid internship: Exploitation or opportunity?

The use of unpaid interns has come under increased media and political scrutiny. Fuelled by horror stories of young interns collapsing under extreme workplace pressures, the issue reached the political agenda. In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour carried out a highly publicized workplace inspection blitz to determine if intern rights were being respected. Rules governing the appropriate use of interns in Ontario are not new. They had been in place long before the summer 2014 blitz. The rules are set out in section 1(2) of the Employment Standards Act.

 

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

Commission sales employees: Two common errors to avoid

In the course of practice, employers have repeatedly made two fundamental mistakes when it comes to provision of commission pay: 1) not properly providing for vacation pay in the calculation of commission payments; and 2) failing to ensure commission payments comply with minimum wage requirements. While employer errors of this kind may be innocent or unintentional, significant financial liability can accrue as a result.

 

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

Ontario divisional court addresses enforceability of termination clause in federal jurisdiction

In the past three years there have been a number of cases arising from the Ontario courts considering whether or not termination clauses which purport to rebut the implied presumption of common law notice and limit an employee’s entitlements upon termination are enforceable. The enforceability of such clauses can have significant consequences on the quantum of an individual’s damages because an employee’s common law entitlements typically exceed his/her minimum entitlements under the applicable minimum standards legislation. The Ontario Division Court recently considered the enforceability of a termination clause in the federal sector in Luney v. Day Ross Inc., 2015 ONSC 1440.

 

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

Election 2015: An employment lawyer’s view on workplace party promises

The 2015 federal election is now less than a week away. Notable in the race so far (at least from our perspective) has been the prominence of workplace issues, and the corresponding employment law implications. Indeed, one of the most blistering exchanges in the first half of the campaign was with respect to the federal minimum wage.

 

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

Dismissal without just cause: not necessarily “unjust dismissal” under the Canada Labour Code

In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, the Federal Court of Appeal has clarified the impact of the Canada Labour Code on an employer’s ability to dismiss employees without cause.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Federal Employees’ Voting Rights Act facilitates union decertification, mandates secret ballot vote-based majority for certification

New legislation in the federal sector will mandate secret ballot vote-based majorities for both the certification, and the decertification of bargaining agents.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Amendments to part II of the Canada Labour Code

A number of changes to the Canada Labour Code came into force on October 31, 2014. These changes reinforce the internal responsibility system to improve protection for Canadian workers and allow the Labour Program to better focus its attention on critical issues affecting the health and safety of Canadians in their workplace

 

, , , , , , ,

Previous Posts