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sexual harassment

Compliment or sexual harassment: Where do you draw the line?

Despite a number of legislative initiatives that are intended to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment in society, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Ontario’s workplaces.

 

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Talking damages: Put your money where your mouth is

When it comes to human rights cases, awards for general damages are often less than $10,000, even though the $10,000 cap on general damages was removed almost a decade ago.

 

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$85,000.00 human rights award against employer in sexual harassment case upheld on appeal

In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case serves as an example of how serious our Canadian Courts are now treating sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

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E.T. v. Dress Code Express Inc., the “Code” as applied to minors

The Ontario Human Rights Code is extensive in its efforts to protect persons within Ontario, and may apply to minors in the workforce. Regardless of the age of the employee, chances are they are covered by the “Code,” and their rights may be enforced if not by the employee, then by a litigation guardian. Age as well as the other protected grounds, is not an excuse or invitation for abuse.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Supreme Court rules on drug-related dismissal; Harassment as an independent cause of action; and Server awarded damages for sexual harassment.

 

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Is it work-related? Novel workers’ compensation decisions deal with harassment and assault #learnthelatest

It may seem fairly obvious when a worker breaks her leg “in the course of employment”. However, injuries and illnesses related to bullying and harassment have drawn significant attention in recent years, and decisions from various workers’ compensation tribunals across the country illustrate that determining the work-relatedness of such injuries is no simple task.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Budget 2017’s proposed changes to maternity and parental leave; Bill 168 and compliance regarding violence provisions under OHSA; and employee sexual harassment and reprisal.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee who was dismissed for not submitting a doctor’s note in a timely fashion; a firefighter who was reinstated after being dismissed for sexually harassing a co–worker; and human rights claims, made by a former employee, that were barred by terms of a final release received on termination.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds award of $60,000 in moral damages

In a recent case, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a substantial award of moral damages to an employee subjected to long–term sexual harassment, after she made a formal complaint to her manager.

 

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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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Defending a lawsuit is not the new black, or: If you stick your head in the sand for six years, the most likely outcome is suffocation

You have probably heard about the recent allegations of sexual assault against a WestJet pilot, and how WestJet failed to properly handle the allegation. Here is a quick summary: a former WestJet flight attendant, Mandalena Lewis, has filed a claim in the B.C. Supreme Court alleging that, after she reported that she was sexually assaulted on a layover in Hawaii in 2010, WestJet did not properly investigate the allegation. In fact, they chose to protect the pilot and eventually fired her for pursuing the matter.

 

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Pregnant employee awarded damages in discrimination claim

In a recent matter heard before the Human Rights Tribunal of Alberta (the Tribunal), it was decided that an employer discriminated against its employee in the course of her employment, on the ground of gender, in both sexual harassment and pregnancy. Such action is contrary to the Alberta Human Rights Act. In coming to its conclusion, the Tribunal had to address whether the employee had established a prima facie case of discrimination. If so, did the employer have a defence to the discrimination?

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: employers’ expanded obligations with respect to workplace harassment under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act; a pregnant employee who was awarded damages in discrimination claim; and the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s new Code of Practice for workplace harassment.

 

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Sending a signal to harassment perpetrators and employers alike

Ontario courts are rightly increasing their protection of employees from harassment and assault in the workplace. This case serves as a strong deterrent to employers and employees who do not comprehend or acknowledge the severe implications of their actions.

 

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Interview with the Chief Commissioner of the OHRC on gender specific dress code

With the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s recent position on gender-specific dress codes, and with the increase of attention in the news regarding bars and restaurants requiring women to wear high heels, low-cut tops and short skirts, I thought it would be beneficial for our readers to get Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane’s take on the issue of gender specific and sexualized dress codes in the workplace, and what employers should be doing to ensure that their dress codes are in compliance with Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

 

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