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duty to accommodate

Cannabis in the workplace

On April 13, Bill C-45 – An Act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts, also known as the Cannabis Act – was introduced and read in the House of Commons.

 

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Le cannabis en milieu de travail

Le 13 avril dernier, le projet de loi C-45 – soit la Loi concernant le cannabis et modifiant la Loi réglementant certaines drogues et autres substances, le Code criminel et d’autres lois ou la Loi sur le cannabis – fut déposé et lu à la Chambre des communes. La Loi sur le cannabis prévoit, entre autres, certaines modalités visant à légaliser et à réglementer la production et distribution du cannabis à des fins médicales et récréatives.

 

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Divisional Court confirms Human Rights Code provides statutory authority to demand an Independent Medical Exam

Back in December 2015, I wrote a blog post on a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision in Bottiglia v. Ottawa Catholic School Board. The case concerned the ability of an employer to demand an Independent Medical Exam in circumstances where there was no clear contractual or express statutory authority.

 

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Good Friday, Easter and Passover in 2017

Good Friday, observed on April 14 this year, is a statutory holiday recognized across Canada. Also, Easter Sunday, observed on April 16 this year, is a retail holiday in some provinces and territories. Regarding Easter Monday, the Federal Government, as well as certain federally regulated workplaces, recognize the day as a statutory holiday. Although, this may not necessarily be the circumstance for the provinces and territories.

 

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Family status: The employee’s obligation under “the Code”

The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.

 

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Workplace partisan political arguments

workplace partisan political arguments

The U.S. 2016 presidential election and post-election are causing much debate, criticism and protest outside of America. Canadians have actively participated in public marches and protests in response to Trump’s comments and proposed policies, as well as the recent proposedU.S. ban on entry to that country from certain Muslim nations. In this context, employers are right to ask whether workplace partisan political arguments fit in the workplace.

 

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Disability as a variable – A new optic

Looking at an Ontario Human Rights Commission discussion paper released in 2001, the aspects that make what is called intersectionality so appealing to a modern view of identity is that it does not pigeon hole a person as being represented by a sole code ground, or identity that is legally protected against discrimination.

 

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Discriminatory grounds such as family status, age, marital status, etc. that deal with the duty to accommodate

The Ontario Human Rights Code lists a number of personal characteristics protected from discrimination: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability. These personal characteristics are often referred to as “protected grounds”. An employer is prohibited from discriminating against an employee on the basis of any protected ground.

 

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Employee unable to show dismissal was discriminatory

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently denied an employee’s complaint alleging that his employer discriminated against him on the basis of a physical disability. The Tribunal denied the employee’s complaint because there was no link between the employee’s alleged chronic pain and his use of marijuana.

 

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Workplace accommodation has limits

In Pourasadi v Bentley Leathers Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal found that accommodating a store manager by permitting the employee not to assist customers was not required, since assisting customers was an essential duty of her position.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: projected salary increases for Canadian employers; an employer’s responsibility regarding protection of its workers from harassment and discrimination online; a denied request for accommodation by a Rastafarian man who claimed that female-only support workers were required by his creed.

 

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FAQ: Family status and child care difficulties #learnthelatest

At the June 2, 2016, Ontario Employment Law Conference, during the Q&A session, we received numerous questions on topics covered at the conference but could not address them all. From time to time, till the next conference, we will be posting and answering some of these questions on the blog.

 

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Mental health or physical disabilities that deal with the duty to accommodate

Mastering the ins and outs of the duty to accommodate under human rights legislation is hard. In fact, some would go so far as to say impossible. It’s no wonder this topic has floated to the top of the list of challenges faced by HR practitioners. I’ve given this some thought and come up with a number of rules that I feel should be followed in all cases.

 

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Silence proves costly: employment agreements and reasonable notice

Employers who fail to incorporate a binding termination clause into their written employment agreements may face significant, and unexpected, liability for severance. This lesson was learned the hard way by Qualified Metal Fabricators (“QML”) in a recent case out of Toronto.

 

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Interview with the Chief Commissioner of the OHRC on gender specific dress code

With the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s recent position on gender-specific dress codes, and with the increase of attention in the news regarding bars and restaurants requiring women to wear high heels, low-cut tops and short skirts, I thought it would be beneficial for our readers to get Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane’s take on the issue of gender specific and sexualized dress codes in the workplace, and what employers should be doing to ensure that their dress codes are in compliance with Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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