policies and procedures
The recent decision by an Ontario Small Claims Court (Cao v. SBLR LLP) , even though only at the small claims court level and unlikely to set any legal precedent, is nevertheless a reminder to employers and employees alike that we often tend to assume things about the law which are not true, only to be surprised by the facts when an aggrieved employee decides to challenge an employer’s action.
Companies have had almost 3 years to implement violence and harassment prevention in the workplace provisions under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act , OHSA (also known as Bill 168). Like other items in the OHSA, obligations on employers to prevent workplace violence and harassment with written policies and programs require ongoing commitment, training, and review. A few highlights of some of the requirements that employers with five or more employees must demonstrate include:
Recently, some of our clients received a notice from the government reminding them to file an Accessibility Report. This was an eye opener to employers who have let the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Customer Service compliance deadlines slip through the cracks. Some simply forgot to file. However, others were reminded they have not yet implemented all the Customer Service Standard requirements.
Some cynical people believe that no organization is free from employee fraud. Even small organizations are hardly immune, despite the trust such employers place in their employees and the controls they have in place. Consider these common misconceptions about employee fraud…
The recent decision by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to ban working from home for “Yahoos” has been both widely criticised and applauded. The decision has been criticised for undermining the growing trend toward telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements which enable employees to better balance work/life challenges, especially important to women with children [...]
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has recently found a Company to be in breach of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to comply with its duties under the workplace violence and harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (section 32) (formerly Bill 168).
The recently publicized news regarding the ban of telecommuting at Yahoo has ensued in a debate about the benefits of flexible work from home versus the requirement to come into work. However the first thought to cross my mind was that this flexible work arrangement only applies to a very small and privileged sector of employees. For example, working in healthcare, I am very aware of the fact that this debate doesn’t apply to nurses or personal support workers.
It seems that employers must continually learn that it is crucial to have clear written policies in place governing employee conduct and discipline, and to apply those policies consistently. An Alberta Employment Standards Umpire recently heard a case that reiterates the simple lesson.
Our last poll asked readers: Do you have a winter-weather policy to handle challenges the weather will bring that might prevent employees from getting to work? Out of 319 respondents, 161 (50.47%) of respondents said no and 90 (28.21%) said yes (29/9.9% of respondents already cover it in policy). Only 68 (21.32%) answered they did not know they needed one. So do you need one or not?
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with workplace discrimination due to childcare obligations, terminating a disabled employee on sick leave and the need to have clear written policies on employee conduct and discipline.
Federal Court clarifies that the prohibited ground of “family status” includes “childcare obligations”
Do employers have to accommodate the “childcare responsibilities” of their employees to the point of undue hardship? The Federal Court has confirmed that in the federal jurisdiction the answer is yes subject to the requirement that the childcare responsibility be a “substantial parental obligation”.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with an employer’s dress code, if a criminal conviction can be viewed as a disability and how guetto comments in the workplace can be construed as discriminatory.