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OHSA

What you don’t know can hurt you: A new wave of WSIB claims for chronic mental stress

On May 17, 2017, Bill 127 (Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act) received Royal Assent. The Bill modified the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to allow WSIB benefits for workers who suffer from chronic mental stress in the course of their employment.

 

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Protecting employees from third-party harassment

Even if an employer is not fully successful at the end of the day, the moral boost to workers of knowing that their employer is willing to go to bat to stop harassment in its tracks cannot be overstated.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a new type of damage that was awarded against an employer after workplace harassment was proven, a case in which expert evidence was not needed to claim damages for mental injury, and the public hearings on Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

 

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Young workers: Staying safe at work

With the summer months beginning this is the time when students are starting new jobs. These young workers and/or new workers are at a high risk for getting injured while at work. New workers are 3 times more likely to be injured during their first month than other, more experienced workers. In Ontario, according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, between 2009 and 2013, 30 youth workers died in work related incidents and another 30,000 received injuries that led to lost time.

 

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OHSA in wonderland: Through the looking glass

If an employee alleges a violation of section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) then the employer must prove there has been no violation. This is called a reverse onus clause which means an employer must prove it did not violate OHSA. After a brief summary of the remedies that are available to employees under section 50 of OHSA, this blog discusses three recent cases.

 

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What to do when the MOL comes calling

This blog discusses a group of orders that a MOL inspector recently imposed on a small employer after an employee complained that she had been harassed at work.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation; overview of Bill C-45 to legalize marijuana; and Budget 2017 Bill to implement employment insurance measures.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: an employment agreement not signed before the first day of work; a volunteer in a coma who willingly assumed risks of the task that caused his injury; and the electronic distribution of T4 information slips.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Whether an employee may deduct the cost of a basic cellular service plan; just cause to fire an employee for forging signatures on sick notes; and employer violation of health and safety legislation after failing to take precautions after employee complaint.

 

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Additional employer obligations? Domestic and sexual violence

As of the writing of this blog, Bill 26 has passed second reading and is before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly for consultation and, so it remains to be seen if the above changes will come into force. That said, with the recent legislative attention on protecting employees with respect to sexual harassment and violence, it is likely that employers may soon need to revisit their policies and programs to account for domestic and sexual violence.

 

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Employee did not have right to delay work refusal investigation

The Ontario Labour Relations Board recently dismissed an application where an employee claimed that her employer threatened her with discipline for exercising her right to refuse unsafe work. Why? The employee did not have the right to delay the employer’s investigation of her work refusal, to wait until her preferred union representative completed a personal matter and attended at the workplace.

 

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Termination deemed reprisal for refusing unsafe work

In the recent decision Podobnik v. Society of St. Vincent de Paul Stores (Ottawa) Inc., the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) held that the Employer had reprised against the Employee when it terminated her employment after she had exercised her rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to refuse unsafe work. The OLRB did not agree that the termination was the result of an legitimate organizational restructuring. Rather, it held that the Employee’s termination was motivated “at least in part” as a reprisal against her for exercising her rights under the OHSA in the weeks preceding her termination.

 

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Workplace investigations that are required or recommended

Until the last few years formal workplace investigations were relatively uncommon. Recent changes to the law however have totally changed the legal landscape relating to workplace investigations. To reduce legal exposure and save costs, I believe most employers should ensure that at least one employee receives workplace investigation training. This blog discusses four scenarios where workplace investigations are required or recommended.

 

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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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Supreme Court decision may protect defendants charged with OHSA offences from unreasonable delay

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada could have the effect of allowing corporations charged under the OHSA to seek remedies when a trial is unreasonably delayed in a considerably broader swath of cases.

 

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