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How do you spell layoff?

Layoffs are confusing for many more reasons than simply how to spell it (layoff, lay off, lay-off?) A layoff is a termination of employment; however, the use of the term layoff is usually understood to have a connotation of either resulting from a shortage of work or being temporary in nature, rather than permanent termination or for cause.

 

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New Liberal Government plans to keep best and brightest and support persons with disabilities in Nova Scotia

The newly elected Liberal government platform states that businesses need workers, and recent graduates and skilled workers need experience. The Liberal government states that it will support young graduates to develop the necessary skills and gain experience in their fields and develop an Accessibility for Nova Scotians with Disabilities Act.

 

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Nova Scotia to increase access to pregnancy/parental leave in 2015

On September 2, 2013, Premier Darrell Dexter announced plans to amend the Labour Standards Code to allow someone employed for six months with an employer to qualify for pregnancy/parental leave.

 

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Five employment issues facing Ontario retailers

I am fortunate in my practice to work with clients in different industries, ranging from healthcare and social services to traditional manufacturing. Although employment laws generally apply to all industries in much the same way, there are usually certain issues that some industries face more than others. This is true of many clients I assist in the retail industry.

 

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Politics over pragmatism? Job-protected leaves for the death and disappearance of child due to crime or a critically ill child

On December 14, 2012, the federal Helping Families in Need Act (formerly Bill C–44) received Royal Assent and provisions were proclaimed in effect on March 24, 2013 and June 9, 2013. That Act among other things, amended the Canada Labour Code to permit an employee to take a job-protected leave of absence without pay if the employee is the parent of a child who has disappeared or died and it is probable, considering the circumstances, that the child disappeared or died as a result of a crime.

 

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Do you need a social media policy?

It is understandably frustrating for employers and human resources managers to try keep up with social media trends. It seems that as soon as employers (or anyone over the age of 25) has figured out the latest social media tool, the masses have moved on to the next one. Likewise it is almost impossible to amend or adapt a “social media” policy with each shift in trend.

 

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The value of working from home questioned: Whether to implement flexible work arrangements or not?

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 […]

 

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No cause for termination without policy and discipline

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.

 

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Winter-weather policy, do you need one?

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?

 

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Employers ask: what conduct by an employee constitutes cause for dismissal

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I am frequently asked by employer clients to describe what type of conduct by an employee will be held by the courts to qualify as cause for dismissal. Employers are often frustrated by the answer they receive – that it seems that nothing less than stealing money from the company will suffice. In the case of long time employees without prior instances of misconduct, theft may still be insufficient. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court has fortunately clarified the circumstances in which courts will find cause for dismissal as a result of dishonesty. What is striking about the decision is the reliance of the judge on a seemingly insignificant act committed by a nineteen year employee.

 

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Social media policy – if you don’t have one, get one!

social media policy

The story about the Ontario man fired from a retail store due to insensitive online posts about the death of Amanda Todd, is not the first time we’ve seen a story like this.

 

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Workplace policies to avoid the holiday party hangover

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With the holiday season fast approaching, employers are consistently reminded of the additional risks and liabilities which may result from an employer-sponsored holiday event. Nevertheless, holiday parties and events are often considered to be an essential “benefit” expected by employees.

 

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Employee privacy update: Supreme Court of Canada releases decision in R v Cole

The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-awaited decision in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53, on October 19. This criminal law case is notable for employers because it provides commentary on an employee’s right to privacy when using an employer-supplied laptop.

 

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Accommodating scent sensitivities in the workplace

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Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The accommodation of scent sensitivities arose in a recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). It raises questions as to what is considered undue hardship when accommodating an employee with a sensitivity to scents.

 

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How do you count length of service/seniority in relation to employee leaves of absence?

There is significant confusion regarding how periods of leave are to be treated when entitlements are based upon length of service; this included the amount of notice of dismissal that may be required…

 

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