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Human Resource professionals can actually save the world!!!

There are some professions that are automatically seen as having a strong impact on our world and are accepted as having the capability of making our world a better place. Human Resource Management however is often seen as having the potential to make significant impact on business success, rarely do we extend that assessment to the economy and nation building. But the Human Resource profession may just be the answer to some of the social, political and economic challenges being faced in Canada today.


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Human Rights Commission tackles racial profiling

This year, a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry issued a highly publicized decision on racial profiling. In the case, the Board concluded that a woman had been discriminated against on the basis of her race and/or colour when wrongfully accused of shoplifting at a grocery store. In the wake of this case and research, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has recently announced plans to take preventative measures to tackle this serious issue.


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Yes your employees may be legally entitled to time off work to watch their kids, even if they give you no advance notice

Alberta employers should keep this decision in mind when responding to an employee’s last minute request or demand for time off work to deal with childcare obligations, and even other family needs. Arguably, and if the right facts exist, employees could be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act even if they have made no efforts to seek out alternate child care. The result is that they could be entitled to the short period of time off, in most cases despite the negative impact that their absence will have on the employer’s operations.


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Intersectionality: Re-think your pre-think

We need to take a step back and reassess our assumptions that preclude those who are marginalized. We need to get a sense of how we can think inclusively while building roads to view human diversity as more than a product of a singular association or identity. The concepts of accommodation, accessibility and inclusion that an organization uses have to be robust enough to pay respect to the fact that people are a system of identities that continuously flow and change.


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Genetic non-discrimination: Update on Bill S-201

Bill S-201 would prohibit any person from requiring an individual to undergo a genetic test as a condition of: providing goods or services to that individual; entering into or continuing a contract or agreement with that individual; or offering or continuing specific terms or conditions in a contract or agreement with that individual. Those who contravene the rules would be subject to severe penalties.


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Definition of disability and the Ontario Human Rights Commission

When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.


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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An article that looks at an agreement in principle that was reached for CPP expansion; a FAQ that addresses the validity of an employment contract that was not signed; and an article that looks at the construction union wage rate index for May 2016.


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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An FAQ that addresses an employee harassment complaint; a case that looks at accommodating an employee with a disability; and a notification regarding upcoming minimum wage increases in British Columbia.


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Arbitrators should apply ‘privacy spectrum’ to personal information

The names of people involved in labour arbitration should be disclosed with the arbitrator’s decisions, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so, according to the open-court principle and the public’s interest. The British Columbia Labour Relations Board affirmed the law in a recent review of an arbitrator’s decision. The board also affirmed arbitrators’ […]


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Workplace human rights: Is this sexual harassment?

I am a workplace human rights trainer and I learn of some important real-life scenarios from my workshop participants. I am often asked to provide expert feedback. The following are two very interesting workplace human rights scenarios—I have changed the names of those involved:


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Call for a national accessibility action plan to meet obligations to people with disabilities

For years I have followed the work of advocacy groups in order to understand the needs of people with disabilities. One issue stands out among the research: the removal and prevention of barriers is vital to provide equal access to daily living. Two recognizable advocacy groups are asking the federal government to get on with a plan of action.


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Woman suffered discrimination at work for disability

Elsa Torrejon was diagnosed in early 2009 with breast cancer. After telling her employer about her illness and requesting an indefinite leave to receive treatment for breast cancer, she found herself dismissed and fighting for her human rights.


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Employer’s duty to accommodate an employee’s illness

I am often asked by HR Managers and other supervisory personnel how long an employee can be off work due to illness before he is deemed to have abandoned his position. Many HR people question whether they have to retain the opening indefinitely where there is no reliable prediction as to when an employee will return to work. The issue is important in that…


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AODA – Are the doorman and elevator attendant back?

Despite such pressing topics as the fast-approaching Bill 168 changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, almost certainly the biggest topic this year was the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). I mean, you’ve already prepared your organization for Bill 168, right—and it wasn’t too painful, was it? Well, the AODA Customer Service Standard is going to creep up quickly, too, and it will change the way you do business.


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‘Hazing’ and ‘horseplay’ in the workplace – a serious matter for the employer

I recently read an article on “hazing” and “horseplay” in the workplace. Photos and videos revealed incidents where employees were subjected to some very unusual, and downright unacceptable, treatment in the transportation and works department of their municipal employer.


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