It seems that employers must continually learn that it is crucial to have clear written policies in place governing employee conduct and discipline, and to apply those policies consistently. An Alberta Employment Standards Umpire recently heard a case that reiterates the simple lesson.
Our last poll asked readers: Do you have a winter-weather policy to handle challenges the weather will bring that might prevent employees from getting to work? Out of 319 respondents, 161 (50.47%) of respondents said no and 90 (28.21%) said yes (29/9.9% of respondents already cover it in policy). Only 68 (21.32%) answered they did not know they needed one. So do you need one or not?
Does your vacation policy require employees to take time off in consecutive weeks? What does the law say? The answer: it depends on the jurisdiction.
Perhaps because of the increased press directed to union conflicts, or perhaps due solely to a misunderstanding of the employment relationship, many HR professionals perceive that they have the right to suspend an employee based on some perceived or actual misconduct by that employee. However, while most union contracts do provide the right of suspension to the employer, there is no similar right available at common law.
Thinking of vacation? You’re not alone. Both Expedia and Mercer consultants recently published studies shedding light on employees’ views on vacation time.
I am frequently asked by employer clients to describe what type of conduct by an employee will be held by the courts to qualify as cause for dismissal. Employers are often frustrated by the answer they receive – that it seems that nothing less than stealing money from the company will suffice. In the case of long time employees without prior instances of misconduct, theft may still be insufficient. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court has fortunately clarified the circumstances in which courts will find cause for dismissal as a result of dishonesty. What is striking about the decision is the reliance of the judge on a seemingly insignificant act committed by a nineteen year employee.
The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-awaited decision in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53, on October 19. This criminal law case is notable for employers because it provides commentary on an employee’s right to privacy when using an employer-supplied laptop.
Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The accommodation of scent sensitivities arose in a recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). It raises questions as to what is considered undue hardship when accommodating an employee with a sensitivity to scents.
In the dog-eat-dog world of business, there’s a growing trend of workers bringing their pets to the office. Some companies already welcome man’s best friend (and cats too), while others have not yet realized that there are benefits of allowing employees to bring their furry friends to work.
We are very pleased to announce that Michele Glassford, Editor of Human Resources PolicyPro, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba & Saskatchewan, and Atlantic editions, published by First Reference Inc., will be sharing her expertise with our readers on First Reference Talks, covering issues surrounding HR policies and best practices, starting in September 2012.
A regular issue for employers is whether the provisions in their employee handbook are enforceable in the same manner as an employment contract. Many employers are surprised to find that they are not…
As a Human Resources Generalist or as a manager or department supervisor, this is the time of year that the memo goes around the office: ALL EMPLOYEES PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR VACATION REQUESTS. How you set up your procedures and policies is key to a smooth and organized vacation schedule that balances your employees’ vacation requests and your organizational demands.
When an employer seeks to rely on a breach of policy in disciplining an employee, the employer must prove that it clearly communicated the policy to the employee in question and has enforced the policy consistently. The importance of such communication in enforcement of workplace policies was demonstrated in Lambe v. Irving Oil Ltd.