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Human rights complaint

Pregnant temporary worker files human rights complaint after termination

Many employers in Canada use temporary workers supplied by employment agencies so that they don’t have to have full time employees and the obligations associated with full time staff such as severance, benefit and other monetary entitlements.

 

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Reasonable settlement offer prevents litigious complainant from proceeding

A recent decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal serves as a useful reminder of the utility of a reasonable settlement offer, which can result in the Tribunal putting an end to complaint proceedings without a hearing.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: the issue of workplace absenteeism; a case that addresses the issue of medical marijuana use by an employee who works in a safety-sensitive position; and a FAQ that addresses the provincial standard for training employees on Bill 132 (Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016).

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with:An Ontario human rights case where an employee’s dismissal by her employer for having lied about when she found out about her pregnancy was ruled to be non-discriminatory; a decision that clarifies that the duty to mitigate does not apply when an employer terminates a fixed-term employment contract before its end date; and an FAQ that looks at an employee who is looking for accommodation to care for their child because they cannot afford daycare.

 

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Protecting human rights in the workplace: Lessons for employers

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Courts have broken new ground in recent months, both in terms of the reach of anti-discrimination laws and the consequences for those who are found in breach. While the vast majority of employers provide respectful and inclusive workplaces, there are exceptions to this rule and sometimes, despite all […]

 

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Is an employer’s duty to accommodate becoming too much?

After a recent Federal Court of Appeal ruling, employers are now faced with the responsibility of accommodating employee requests relating to childcare – providing it does not cause the employer undue hardship. This is the first time a ruling seems to clarify what employers’ obligations are when it comes to accommodation based on family status under human rights legislation. But is this too much for employers?

 

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Federal Court of Appeal outlines test for discrimination on the basis of child care responsibilities

The Federal Court of Appeal has released two companion decisions in Attorney General of Canada v Fiona Johnston and the Canadian Human Rights Commission 2014 FCA 110 (“Johnston”) and Canadian National Railway v. Denise Seeley and the Canadian Human Rights Commission 2014 FCA 111 (“Seeley”) that confirm that discrimination on the prohibited ground of “family status” includes child care obligations and in elaborating on the appropriate test to be used in order to determine when an employee can establish a prima facie case of discrimination on the basis of family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act.

 

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Is the appearance of “youth” a bona fide occupational qualification?

Kimberly Ouwroulis filed a Human Rights complaint alleging discrimination based on her age. The complaint was filed after she was terminated from her job as an exotic dancer at a strip club, allegedly, for being too old. As a highly publicized case, experts quickly asked the question whether or not age, for an exotic dancer, is a BFOQ?

 

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The importance of documentation when dealing with a human rights complaint

This human rights case demonstrates the importance of preparing and maintaining proper documentation when interviewing job applicants for a position with the employer. In fact, the notes of the hiring manager in this case highlighted the fact that there were other reasons for not hiring a job applicant—and those notes likely prevented the employer’s liability.

 

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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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Employer failed in duty to accommodate by not considering employment beyond pre-injury position

In the recent decision Fair and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal provides a useful guide for employers to follow in determining how to return an employee to the workplace after an extended absence.

 

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Yet another reason for employers to avoid ‘locker-room mentality’ at work

locker-room

Just in case employers needed yet another reason to be careful to ensure that employees in their workplaces treat one another with respect and avoid a “locker room mentality”, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has provided one. In Lombardi v. Walton Enterprises, (2012) HRTO 1675 the Tribunal found a corporate employer and Assistant Manager jointly and severally liable for homophobic slurs directed at an employee.

 

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What do you do when your employees won’t come to work?

In recent years, employers seem to be struggling with “missing employees” that provide vague doctors’ notes and then disappear, assuming their job is safe. What can employers do? Do you have the right to ask for medical information? Can they dismiss the employee if they don’t provide proper justification for their absence?

 

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Responding to a human rights complaint

As an employer it is always possible that your organization will become involved in a human rights complaint— most likely as the respondent. Being the respondent means that a complaint has been filed against you, probably by an employee, former employee, customer or other member of the general public. You must respond in writing to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) within 35 days in order to preserve your legal rights.

 

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Human Rights Tribunal scrutinizes medical note in allegation of discrimination on the basis of disability

Human Resources practitioners are constantly confronted with medical notes from employees that do not provide any meaningful medical information (i.e. Bob is off work for 2 weeks because he is under doctor’s care). In addition, some employees who are disciplined or terminated after submitting these less than informative medical notes will file human rights complaints alleging discrimination in employment on the basis of a disability. Recently, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) had a chance to comment on these all too common issues…

 

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