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investigation

Duty to conduct workplace investigations increasing

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the role of investigations within HR and employment law. It is well-established that employers have a duty to investigate allegations of misconduct prior to taking disciplinary action. There is also a duty to investigate allegations of harassment or discrimination. There has been much emphasis on the manner of investigating such matters, and the need to be fair and impartial while also acting expeditiously. In the HR Law for HR Professionals course that I created for Osgoode Professional Development several years ago, investigations used to be a small part of one module. They now fill an entire day of the five day course. That is a clear indication of their growing importance.

 

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Changes to the Canada Labour Code: Work refusals and narrower definition of danger come into force

Amendments to Part II of the Canada Labour Code (Code) are set to take effect as of October 31, 2014. These changes include redefining “danger”‘ under the Code for the purposes of work refusals and putting in place a new system for enforcing Part II. These changes will have an impact on federally regulated employers.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with police record checks; entitlement to bonus payment on termination; and determining an appropriate notice period.

 

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The courts giveth, and the courts taketh away

The law of employment, like every area, is always evolving. This often works to the consternation of both employers and employees, who would like to have a sense of certainty regarding their rights and obligations. While it may sound self-serving, the ongoing evolution of the law is another reason why it is important to work with an employment lawyer on a regular basis, rather than consult once and assume that the law is the same a decade later. The cases below also serve as reminders of the unpredictability of the law.

 

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Is driving a bus unsafe? It depends who you ask….

A recent investigation and ruling by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (“HRSDC”) has found that OC Transpo, the public transit operator in Canada’s capital city, is not doing enough to protect its bus drivers from workplace violence as required under the CLC.

 

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Does an employee have the common law right to procedural fairness in the manner of their termination

It is assumed by most H.R. professionals that employees are entitled to procedural fairness and, in particular, to be advised as to the reasons for dismissal from employment. In fact, there is no such right in private companies. Employees in private companies (i.e. non-governmental entities) have no common law right of procedural fairness in the manner of their termination, whether the termination is for cause or not. Similarly, employees have no legal right to an opportunity to respond to the alleged reasons for dismissal.

 

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What is happening at the Apple Inc. factory, Foxconn, and how does it affect us?

I have read several articles in the last week regarding Apple Inc.’s manufacturing in China, through the company Foxconn. Perhaps it is time for us to take a step back and really understand what is going on here, and how this affects us in Canada.

 

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‘Invitation to harass?’

By now, most of us have heard about a controversial decision of the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in which Justice Robert Dewar sentenced a man found guilty of sexual assault to a two year conditional sentence, allowing him to remain free in the community and avoid any jail time.

 

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Organization fined for violating OHSA after a worker was injured

The Ontario Ministry of Labour recently emailed their latest Court Bulletin indicating that a company that makes plastic auto parts received a hefty fine of $50,000 for violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act after a worker was injured.

 

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Employer performed unauthorized credit checks on employees

I recently read an investigation report from the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, where an employer made a big mistake and ended up violating the privacy of at least 25 employees.

 

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Scaffolding accident involving migrant workers: charges with fines of up to $17,000,000

The Ministry of Labour just laid charges carrying fines of up to $17,000,000 against two companies that ran and supplied a platform that collapsed last year. There were also charges against executives and supervisors that could carry fines and time in jail.

 

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The ‘Ministry’ will investigate complaints of harassment… Really??!!

As a human rights advisor and educator I was encouraged to overhear this educational conversation about harassment at Tim Hortons. I was concerned however that part of the message this group was hearing was incorrect and misleading.

 

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