canadian employment law
The recently publicized news regarding the ban of telecommuting at Yahoo has ensued in a debate about the benefits of flexible work from home versus the requirement to come into work. However the first thought to cross my mind was that this flexible work arrangement only applies to a very small and privileged sector of employees. For example, working in healthcare, I am very aware of the fact that this debate doesn’t apply to nurses or personal support workers.
We are repeating this December 21 blog post to ensure employers, human resources professionals, payroll specialists, legal advisors, managers and supervisors among others start 2013 on the right foot.
An earlier First Reference Talks blog post dealt with CPP contribution changes effective January 2012. This post will deal with changes to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits and the Post-Retirement Benefit your employees need to know.
On December 8, 2011, the Ontario Liberal Government introduced Bill 30, entitled the Family Caregiver Act. This Act intends to create an additional entitlement to a leave of absence from work while the employee’s job is protected. The proposed Act will provide for an unpaid leave of absence for up to eight weeks to allow an employee to care for a sick relative.
Constructive dismissals are something that most employers are aware of, but many may not be aware that constructive dismissals are in fact very difficult cases for employees to win. This is illustrated by a recent case out of Nova Scotia, Gillis v. Sobeys Group Incorporated 2011 NSSC 443.
Last month I was consulted by a woman with respect to a new employment agreement that she wanted reviewed. The employment opportunity presented to her was by a company that had purchased the software company she was currently employed with for the past 19 years. Her salary remained the same, as did the total of her bonus, although the bonus structure was altered to reflect seemingly unattainable goals. While the new bonus structure did in fact reflect the purchasing company’s exact bonus structure with all of its existing employees, this arrangement was originally her main concern.
“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?
Now and in the coming months, members of the Canadian Forces will be returning from military service in Afghanistan in significant numbers. Many of them, Reservists, will be returning to civilian work. We all owe these soldiers a debt of gratitude for their service. Employers specifically owe them a number of legal obligations, under Employment/Labour Standards legislation in various jurisdictions.
I read an interesting case recently that could be considered controversial: an employer was permitted to contract out of its human rights obligations with some vulnerable employees who were at an economic disadvantage and who experienced significant language barriers. How did the employer accomplish this? The employer added a provision in its termination letter that offered the employees consideration in exchange for signing releases preventing them from launching a human rights complaint.
The Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) requires that when conducting a workplace violence risk assessment you take into account both the nature of your workplace and type of work you perform…
Ontario’s Employment Standards Act provides that in most circumstance, an employee who works more than 44 hours in a given week shall be paid at least one and one-half times his or her regular rate of pay for overtime hours worked. However, this simple rule can become complicated and lead to lawsuits, as several employers have found out recently due to their failure to pay statutory overtime.
Historically, Ontario’s employment standards laws have been reviewed and updated frequently to address changes in the workplace. As expected, the provincial government has adopted various changes to employment standards in the last year or so. Understanding and following the Employment Standards Act requires that those affected by changes make the time to read about them and ask questions if something is unclear. In addition, it is your responsibility…
Occupational health and safety law and human rights law both prohibit reprisals, threats and intimidation against a person for exercising their rights. Employers can be liable for stiff financial penalties for permitting this unacceptable behaviour…
A colleague, and good friend, asked me a very interesting question this week: Is it okay to fire an employee by email?