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mental health

The duty to accommodate mental disability: 5 practical tips to help employers mentally prepare

Employers aren’t expected to be experts in mental health or mental disability. Mental illness and the mental disability it can cause are complex medical issues, and there may be times when the employer needs to seek expert medical advice or guidance.

 

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BC Supreme Court awards aggravated damages in the absence of medical evidence

The decisions in Ensign and Karmel demonstrate the risk of liability for failing to be honest and forthright in the manner of termination of an employee’s employment. Employers would be well-advised to be conservative in assessing whether they have cause, assessing reasonable notice periods, carrying out the termination and avoiding bad faith and/or misrepresentation.

 

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Understanding seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

SAD is a real medical condition that can affect anyone, even people who are not already predisposed to depression. The condition is more common in women than in men. Most people who develop SAD start experiencing symptoms in their 30s. Most people with SAD live in northern climates where there are shorter days in the winter months. Their symptoms begin to lessen in the spring when the amount of sunlight increases each day.

 

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Top 10 employment law cases of 2017

Here is a list of the cases which changed employment law in Canada in 2017 (in no particular order). Note that some of these cases are not yet published on CanLII and therefore, there is no link available.

 

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Before the duty to accommodate, the duty to inquire

If the duty to accommodate is a well-known concept, the duty to inquire is a fuzzy notion. The principle is that an employee seeking accommodation for a disability is under a duty to disclose sufficient information to her employer to enable it fulfill its duty to accommodate.

 

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Furry friends at work, should pets be part of your office culture?

Are you thinking it would be out of this world for you to bring your pets to work? Think again—Companies today are slowly hopping on board to this idea.

 

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An employer’s duty to inquire into mental illness

Accommodating a mental illness does not only benefit the employee, but it also makes good business sense. Enabling employees with mental illness to access support can increase their productivity in the workplace.

 

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Presenteeism in the workplace

Presenteeism results in productivity loss, workplace epidemics, or poor health and exhaustion, which can lead to higher absenteeism for longer periods or accidents. Whether it is a physical or mental ailment, employees should be staying home when they are unable to be present at work. Being physically at work is different than being present at work. It is one thing to show up at work; it’s another thing to be actually productive while at work.

 

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Accommodating disabled employees: Can an employee demand to work at a different workplace?

In a recent case, an adjudicator concluded that an employer failed to accommodate an employee on long-term disability who requested that she be permitted to work in a different work location than a co-worker for mental health reasons.

 

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Should employers talk about mental health in the workplace?

Recent news in the media has highlighted competing perspectives on mental health, one story focusing on the importance of mental health privacy, and the other campaigning for speaking out about mental health. Wednesday Jan 27, 2016 has been designated as the Bell Let’s Talk day, meaning let’s talk about mental illness, as part of Bell’s multi-year campaign around the issue. This seems in contrast to a recent human rights decision about student mental health privacy rights at York University.

 

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Police records checks ineffective, invade rights, says civil rights association

Police record checks are a poor tool to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job, according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. An inaccurate, incomplete or inconsequential record can dissuade employers from hiring good candidates, and present a substantial barrier to employment for perfectly qualified individuals.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with a new mental health disabilities policy from the Ontario Human Rights Commissions; the Canadian Human Rights Commission guide on accommodating family status; and employer-subsidized personal training and nutritionist services.

 

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A trigger and a tool – New Ontario Human Rights policy on mental health disabilities and addictions

The voluntary guidelines found in the 2013 release of the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace may no longer be much of a voluntary standard for employers. The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released its 109 page Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions Wednesday June 18, 2014.

 

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The business case for banishing the winter blues at work

Is it spring yet?  For some people, cold weather and lack of sunshine can trigger a type of depression more serious than winter blahs. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other mental illnesses are rarely talked about at work and often carry serious stigma for those impacted.

 

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