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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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How to create an occupational health and safety policy manual

With heightened scrutiny over workplaces and increased penalties for workplace incidents causing injuries—or worse, death—employers must ensure they understand their obligations under occupational health and safety legislation. One of the fundamental obligations is to prepare workplace safety and health policies and procedures and to train employees and supervisors on them. But where to start?

 

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Ontario Employment Law Conference wrap-up: We learned the latest!

Last Tuesday, over 100 businesses from across Ontario joined us and the employment law team from Stringer LLP to discuss pressing employment issues like avoiding occupational health and safety penalties, accommodating employees’ family status, getting ready for the new Employment Standard, using employment contracts to protect your business, and the perils of employee benefits.

 

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It’s time to re-examine your health and safety training

The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13), will come into effect on July 1, 2014, allowing workplace parties time to prepare. This blog post will provide you with more information about this regulation, an overview of your new training obligations, and identify a number of resources that you can use to assist you in becoming compliant.

 

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Following an OHSA order is not a mitigating factor in sentencing

At trial, the employer was convicted of two offences under the OHSA and fined $25,000 for each offence. In determining the sentence, the Justice of the Peace (JP) noted that although the maximum fine for each offence was $500,000, the employer was not a particularly large operation, the injury was not particularly grave, nor did the accident occur as a result of the wilful disregard of a known hazard. The JP also acknowledged that the employer had taken steps “to establish a safe working environment” prior to the accident occurring.

 

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Court of Appeal says that compliance with an inspector’s order should not mean a smaller fine

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The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, has overturned a lower Court finding found that an employer should be “rewarded” with a lower fine if it complied with an Order from a Ministry of Labour Inspector to make safety improvements after an accident.

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with Alberta’s compassionate care leave; a reprisal claim for allegation of harassment under OHSA; and accumulated unused sick leave payout.

 

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Mandatory awareness training for Ontario workers and supervisors as of July 2014!

Christmas has come early for health and safety professionals in Ontario, with the gift of a new law, Regulation 297/13 added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and filed on November 14, 2013. The regulation is the first of its kind in Canada and mandates that all workers and supervisors must complete basic health and safety awareness training.

 

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Fine increased in Metron OHS criminal negligence causing death case

As you may recall, charges under both the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Criminal Code of Canada were laid against the company Metron for the death of four workers at a Toronto construction site when they fell from a scaffold that did not use proper fall arrest systems. A fifth worker was seriously injured. Metron was convicted under the Criminal Code provisions that make it a criminal offence to direct a worker to perform a task without taking reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to a worker. The trial judge fined the company $200,000 plus the Victim Fine Surcharge of 15 percent or $30,000. The Crown appealed and argued that the fine was manifestly unfit…

 

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