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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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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.

 

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Cost orders under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

A common complaint we hear from employers who are engaged in proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) is that regardless of the merits of the complaint, or the end result, the employer is burdened with the legal costs of successfully defending a complaint.

 

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How weather extremes may affect the workplace

It is a rare day when Canadians are not thinking about weather, especially in January. Canada is a country of extremes in the weather department and although employers in Victoria, British Columbia may have completely different weather considerations than employers in Newfoundland and Labrador or the Northwest Territories, all employers should consider how weather extremes may affect the workplace.

 

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HRLaw: Wrap up and other legislative changes effective in 2014 across Canada

Several changes to pensions, employment standards, health and safety, payroll and other HR law requirements are coming into force January 1, 2014 or later. Below you will find brief summaries, listed by jurisdiction, of some of the important changes employers need to know about and prepare for:

 

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HRinfodesk poll result and commentary: Does safety training have to be multilingual?

Does safety training have to be multilingual? According to 138 (45%) out of 304 respondents, yes, safety training should be multilingual. But it was close—124 (41%) respondents did not believe that there is such an obligation and 42 (14%) did not know either way. So what is the right answer?

 

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2013 Clawbies announced ― First Reference Talks is honoured to have won the Fodden award

The 2013 Clawbie Awards have been announced. First Reference Talks is honoured and humbled to have won the Fodden Award for Best Canadian Law Blog. It is a huge compliment and appreciate the recognition…

 

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Public holiday reminders, season’s greetings and holiday break

The team at First Reference Inc. and First Reference Talks blog wishes everyone a very Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the New Year! / L’Équipe de La Référence et du billet First Reference Talks vous souhaite de belles fêtes et une bonne et heureuse année. In addition, we would like to remind you of the three public/statutory holidays…

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the recent federal budget legislation that passed third reading in the house of commons; how the use of prescribed marijuana by employees creates new questions for Canadian employers; and managing performance issues to avoid constructive dismissal claims.

 

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Ontario employers must provide workers with mandatory health and safety training by July 1, 2014

A new regulation under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act mandates basic safety awareness training for all Ontario workers and supervisors – with a specific focus on small business and vulnerable workers.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with significant changes to employment and labour law in Ontario, wrongfully dismissing an employee for refusing to sign an updated list of duties, and an employee’s duty to mitigate.

 

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CIC announces changes to the Canadian Experience Class

On November 9, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced significant changes to the Canadian Experience Class (“CEC”). Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) will now impose a total annual cap on the number of new CEC applications that it accepts and introduce limits on the number of applications that may be accepted in certain occupations. In addition, CIC will change the timing of when language ability is assessed.

 

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The latest Ontario defeat for non-competition covenants

Readers of this blog have read of the difficulty encountered by employers in Ontario in drafting and enforcing non-competition covenants. The obstacles to enforcing such covenants were highlighted in a decision of the Superior Court released on April 5, 2013, the employer was faced with a concerted effort by three of its employees to open a competitive business within its market…

 

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The courts giveth, and the courts taketh away

The law of employment, like every area, is always evolving. This often works to the consternation of both employers and employees, who would like to have a sense of certainty regarding their rights and obligations. While it may sound self-serving, the ongoing evolution of the law is another reason why it is important to work with an employment lawyer on a regular basis, rather than consult once and assume that the law is the same a decade later. The cases below also serve as reminders of the unpredictability of the law.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an excessive termination for a safety violation; an harassment complaint based on the prohibited ground of gender and how human resource issues can be challenging for volunteer boards of not-for-profit.

 

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Be prepared to justify employee dress code policies

Most people have experience with an employee uniform or dress code policy (mine is “business casual”). There are often very good reasons to have employees look or dress a certain way. It can assist with productivity, promote professionalism and branding, and ensure uniformity. As such, employees’ attire/appearance can be a legitimate concern for employers. However, to the extent that a policy has no rational connection to a business need or unduly infringes on an employee’s self expression, it may be successfully challenged by unions.

 

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