First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

employee handbook

Accommodating scent sensitivities in the workplace

sensitivity-to-scents

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.

 

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

How do you count length of service/seniority in relation to employee leaves of absence?

There is significant confusion regarding how periods of leave are to be treated when entitlements are based upon length of service; this included the amount of notice of dismissal that may be required…

 

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

Pet-friendly workplace policy

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing our newest guest blogger Michele Glassford

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Making your employee handbook enforceable

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…

 

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

Vacation scheduling for the summer starts now!

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Relying on breach of policy to discipline employees

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.

 

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

New Brunswick court of appeal weighs in on alcohol testing

On July 7, 2011 the New Brunswick Court of Appeal handed down a decision regarding an employer’s alcohol testing policy. In Irving Pulp and Paper Limited v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 30, 2011 NBCA 58, the Court found that the random alcohol testing policy in the case was reasonable.

 

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

Family day across Canada

All jurisdictions in Canada provide for a number of public (also called statutory or general holidays) holidays each year. Some are common to all jurisdictions; others are specific to individual provinces and territories. Family Day is a public holiday under provincial employment standards legislation, observed the third Monday in February every year in five jurisdictions in Canada.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Alzheimer’s disease/dementia in the workplace

Alzheimer’s/dementia is becoming a nationwide epidemic and impacting the workforce more and more every day. “Alzheimer’s not only touches more and more lives every day but also impacts the workplace, especially as older people are postponing retirement and continuing to work into their 70s…”

 

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

How to decide if a religious belief should be accommodated

Under human rights legislation in all jurisdictions in Canada, employers cannot ignore the religious needs or observances of employees but must work with employees to try to accommodate them. In addition, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects freedom of religion and expression…

 

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

Termination for cause upheld for breach of computer information access policy

Ontario’s Labour Arbitration Board recently held that an employer did not overreact when it terminated an IT employee for cause after he used an employer computer to download, store and share thousands of copyrighted works including movies, TV shows, music tracks, games and pornographic material, totalling over half a terabyte of data. The board found that the employee violated the employer’s trust in him and acted in flagrant disregard for the employer’s computer information access policy over many years.

 

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

Firing by email part II: wrongful dismissal implications

Pursuant to my blog post of January 11, 2011 discussing the implications of firing by email when an employee files a complaint under human rights legislation, Is it okay to fire an employee by email? It may depend on what course of legal action your former employee pursues.

 

, , , , , , , , ,

Overtime rules can trap the unwary employer

In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) requires employers to pay at least time and a half for all hours worked by an employee in excess of 44 per week. Employers who, for different reasons, fail to pay overtime pay have faced two types of claims by employees…

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Employer obligations and the holiday party

The holidays are right around the corner and this often translates into lots of company-sponsored events, parties and commitments. While these events bring joy and merriment to employees, they can also bring legal troubles for employers related to alcohol, harassment, violence and discrimination.

 

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

Previous Posts Next posts