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HR policies

Only one week left to register for the Ontario Employment Law Conference #learnthelatest

The 18th annual Ontario Employment Law Conference will be taking place on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at the Corporate Event Center at CHSI in Mississauga. We are very much looking forward to hearing from Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn and the employment and labour law experts from Stringer LLP! If you would like to register for the conference but haven’t done so yet, registration will be closing on Friday, June 16, 2017.


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Bad facts make bad law (for employers): Court recognizes new tort of harassment #learnthelatest

The Ontario Superior Court recently recognized a new tort that would allow employees to sue their employers for harassment in civil court. To find out more about how the new tort of harassment in the employment law context, register to Learn the Latest® at the Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 20, 2017.


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Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn to join the Ontario Employment Law Conference #learnthelatest

Join Minister Flynn on June 20 at the Ontario Employment Law Conference to hear about the newly tabled The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act and the Ontario government’s other plans for the 173 recommendations from the Changing Workplaces Review final report. This special luncheon presentation will be followed by a short question and answer period for conference attendees.


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The AODA Employment Standards: Are you meeting the new requirements?

We know that the AODA employment standards requirements are demanding because we have heard about the challenges from those organizations with 50+ employees that were obligated to comply in January 2016. Smaller employers with fewer resources may need additional assistance to keep track of the project, including reviewing, updating and implementing many HR forms and documents such as job offers, employment contracts, job postings and applications to ensure they are consistent with the new accessibility standards.


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Zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies

Rarely has a phrase been so well-intentioned yet so fraught with pitfalls as “zero tolerance”.


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Leaning in to discussions about gender at work – a risk and responsibility

Does your Human Resources department coach your managers to shush-up or speak out regarding gender issues and gender biases in your company?


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Trusted human resources leadership

Can you trust your HR Department? Trust is one of the most valuable assets in any organization and the level of trust within an organization is a key factor in long-term organizational success.


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It’s time for Saskatchewan employers to review HR policies

On April 29, 2014 the Saskatchewan government finally proclaimed the Saskatchewan Employment Act to be in force. The most notable changes in the Saskatchewan Employment Act in respect of employment standards are the following:


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Conflicted about the acceptance or giving of gifts to clients or customers

Who doesn’t like to give or receive a gift, especially around holiday times? It is common practice (even expected practice) in some industries to recognize clients or customers with some sort of gift. Employers should ensure that it has adequate policies to inform and advise employees of the conduct and behaviour that is expected of them in the context of the industry in which the employer operates.


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Cold and flu season has arrived ̶ Is your workplace prepared?

Cold and flu season has arrived. Cold and flu spread more easily in the cold winter months because they thrive in colder, less humid environments. Thus, between October and February of each year, virtually thousands of employees get sick with the cold and/or flu, and that translates into lost work time, reduced productivity and disruption of workplace operations. As we all know, the flu can wreak havoc in the workplace as it spreads very quickly. What can employers do to minimize the impact of colds and influenzas (flus) on the workplace?


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Politics over pragmatism? Job-protected leaves for the death and disappearance of child due to crime or a critically ill child

On December 14, 2012, the federal Helping Families in Need Act (formerly Bill C–44) received Royal Assent and provisions were proclaimed in effect on March 24, 2013 and June 9, 2013. That Act among other things, amended the Canada Labour Code to permit an employee to take a job-protected leave of absence without pay if the employee is the parent of a child who has disappeared or died and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child disappeared or died as a result of a crime.


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HR policies as prevention

At a conference a few years back, there was a session about steps an employer can legally take to oppose a union organizing campaign. I recall my initial reaction to the topic was once a union organizing campaign begins, “it’s too late”. I believe that most union organizing is borne of long-time employee dissatisfaction and insecurity regarding working conditions and management. While there may be some workplaces where union organization results from a political ideology, in most cases, few employees would sign up for the paying of union dues if they did not see the union as an answer to substandard or uncertain workplace policies.


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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.


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How corporate events build employee engagement

First Reference just had its annual picnic and a good time was had by all. There was lots of food, chats and amusing repartee, and a mean game of croquet! This event, among others,which in practical terms might be characterized as activities to build the culture of the organization or team-building activities, have helped create a community at our workplace and not just a workforce.


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Should employers be entitled to require that their employees have a certain ‘look’?

Recently, I posted a discussion topic in The Canadian HR Law Group on LinkedIn, which I moderate. It turned out to be one of a few recent topics that generated substantial interest and comment. As a result, I thought I would revisit the issue here, and I hope to hear from all of the First Reference readers.


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