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Mental illness

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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Managing toxic employees in the workplace

A workplace is a team environment. It functions best when the atmosphere is positive. One of the biggest concerns for employers, in Ontario and elsewhere, is how to address and manage the presence of toxic employees in the workplace. In a recent report from the Harvard Business School, “toxic worker” was defined as someone who “engages in behaviour that is harmful to an organization, including either its property or people.”

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the impact of an aging workforce; mood disorders and job performance; and, unauthorized deductions.

 

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Workplace disclosure of disabilities

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The tragedy of the ill-fated Germanwings flight in March, and speculation about the reasons why the co-pilot may have intentionally crashed the airplane, has raised troubling issues for employers. Amid speculation that the co-pilot may have been depressed and suicidal, and may even have obtained a doctor’s note to not report for work on the fated day, many in the media and around the water cooler have wondered, “How did the employer not know?”

 

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The top 10 employment law stories of 2014

Here is a list of 10 cases that changed the employment law landscape in 2014.

 

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Accommodating employees with mental disabilities

Research estimates that almost one in five Canadian adults will experience a mental illness or addiction. In the last version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – The Fifth Edition (or DSM-5)the number of recognized mental disabilities increased.

 

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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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Termination of a probationary employee was neither arbitrary nor discriminatory

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice Divisional Court just quashed the grievance settlement board’s decision that a probationary employee’s termination was arbitrary and discriminatory and granted the application for judicial review. The evidence was clear that the employer’s decision to terminate the probationary employee was neither arbitrary nor discriminatory. In fact, the decision to terminate came after numerous reviews of the employee’s work and conversations about performance concerns.

 

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Integrating the psychological health and safety standard into existing organizational policies and processes

On January 16, 2013, the Standards Council of Canada (CSA) published a new national standard dealing with psychological health and safety in the workplace. Although not a mandatory standard at this time, it is foreseeable that legislators, health and safety officers and inspectors, adjudicators and tribunals will be influenced by the standard when dealing with psychological and mental health issues in the workplace. In addition, such standards may be absorbed into the employer’s general duty to protect workers from harm in the workplace, which exists in all jurisdictions in Canada. Employers should also scrutinize their workplace operations, policies, procedures and processes under the auspices of the psychological health and safety system recommended in the standard.

 

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Excessive overtime doubles depression risk

A January 25, 2012, British research study indicates that people who work 11 or more hours a day have double the odds of becoming depressed compared with those who don’t work overtime. But why is this important for us as employers to know?

 

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