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A primer on undue hardship and frustration of contract

This blog post provides a primer on the state of undue harship and frustration of contract under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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Court comments on when employers can ask for an independent medical examination

Ontario’s Divisional Court recently confirmed that employers have a right to ask employees to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) in certain circumstances, to facilitate the accommodation process.

 

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Objecting to initial entitlement of a WSIB claim

When you object to the initial entitlement of a WSIB claim, in effect having it denied outright, there are several considerations you should keep in mind. Here are some answers to some questions about the process:

 

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Nova Scotia – Application of restorative process to discrimination complaint

Since 2012, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has adopted a restorative approach as the first option in addressing human rights complaints. If a complaint is referred to a Board of Inquiry, parties have the option to either proceed to a traditional hearing, or agree to a Restorative Board of Inquiry process.

 

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“Give me a raise or i’ll quit”: Has the employee resigned?

It can be surprisingly difficult for an employer to rely on statements such as “I quit” to establish that an employee resigned, particularly if the employee later indicates that they want to return to work. Courts require proof of a clear intention to resign in order to find that an employee terminated their employment. While the statement “I quit” may seem clear, courts will inquire into the circumstances in which the statement was made in order to determine whether the employee actually resigned.

 

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When can employers draw the line? The duty to accommodate and undue hardship

In Perron v Revera Long Term Care Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal held that an employer’s duty to accommodate does not include a duty to create a new position, fundamentally change working conditions, assign the essential duties of an employee with a disability to other employees or to hire another employee to perform them in the employee’s place.

 

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Amendments to part II of the Canada Labour Code

A number of changes to the Canada Labour Code came into force on October 31, 2014. These changes reinforce the internal responsibility system to improve protection for Canadian workers and allow the Labour Program to better focus its attention on critical issues affecting the health and safety of Canadians in their workplace

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with human rights webinars, executive resignation, and registered pooled pension plans.

 

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Employers’ perspective on recent WSIB headlines

There has been a flurry of articles and editorials in recent weeks regarding changes at the WSIB, many of them critical of what they see as an “anti-worker agenda.”

 

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Post-treatment agreements and accommodating alcoholism

A recent arbitrator’s decision concerned the enforceability of a pre-treatment agreement allowing an employer to terminate a unionized employee if he failed to abstain from the consumption of alcohol.

 

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Mistaken termination, no wrongful dismissal

Ten months after Imelda Roche went on medical leave, her employer sent her a termination letter, believing that she was better but choosing not to return to work. But when the employer found out Roche was still not well, it rescinded the termination and restored her benefits. Roche wasn’t impressed and sued for wrongful dismissal at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

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New human rights decision provides guidance on frustration of contract

We are often asked by our clients how long one of their employees has to be off work before it can justifiably take the position that an employment relationship has been “frustrated”. Employers often wonder this because when an employment relationship is frustrated, the employee is not entitled to common law notice or pay in lieu of such notice [1]. So, how long does it take? 1 year? 18 months? 2 years? 5 years?

 

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Doctor’s notes: When should an employer ask for one?

Dr. Scott Wooder, president of the Ontario Medical Association, says employers that require doctor’s notes could be unwittingly increasing the spread of germs by unnecessarily sending sick people to doctors’ offices.

 

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When is a temporary layoff – not a temporary layoff

Employers will often seek to respond to downturns in their business by temporarily reducing head count, with the hope of having those employees return to work when the business improves. This is often referred to as a temporary lay off. Many employers inquire as to their right to temporarily lay off employees, generally in response to financial constraints of the business.

 

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