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sexual harassment

No room left for doubt: Ontario introduces new workplace harassment obligations #learnthelatest

Workplace harassment has been at the forefront of labour and employment law over the past several years, particularly in relation to the employer’s duty to investigate.  The trend continues with the Ontario Government’s recent introduction of Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016. Bill […]

 

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#ghomeshi verdict in: Acquittal on all sexual assault charges

On March 24, 2016, Ontario Court Justice William Horkins delivered his ruling: Ghomeshi has been acquitted of all sexual assault charges.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with a new Ontario Act that addresses sexual harassment; an employer’s implementation of a dress code; and an FAQ in relation to general pay increases for employees who are on maternity leave.

 

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Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy position on gender-specific dress codes

Can you think of a store, restaurant, or bar that appears to require women to wear low-cut tops, short skirts, tight dresses, or high heels when they go to work? Well, it might be wise for those employers to take another look at their dress code policy in light of the Ontario Human Rights Commission position on gender-specific dress code announced on International Women’s Day 2016 and the passing into law of occupational health and safety provisions protecting against workplace sexual harassment and violence. Under Bill 132, the OHSA’s definition of “workplace harassment” will be expanded to include “workplace sexual harassment.”

 

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Sex based discrimination and poisoned work environment

Does an employee have to be “sexually” harassed in order for there to be a breach of the Human Rights Code? This issue was determined in a recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with Canada Pension Plan contribution rates for 2016; new developments on sexual harassment; and, the Conference Board of Canada projected salary increase.

 

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Sexual harassment becoming a health & safety issue in Ontario

On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government tabled Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act which, among other things, amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to make workplace sexual harassment a health and safety issue.

 

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Vicarious liability claim provides warning to employers sponsoring staff parties – employers must ensure supervision and control

Employer-sponsored staff parties and social events are seen to be an opportunity for organizations to show appreciation and to build good will with employees. In spite of these positive aspects, a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice may serve as warning that employers must exercise caution when hosting such events.

 

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Damage awards for sexual harassment/sexual assault on the rise

Last month, I wrote about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $150,000 from her former employer by filing a complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This month, I am writing about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $300,000 from her former employer using Ontario’s court system.

 

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The Human Rights Code and Res Judicata: G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited

Generally speaking, res judicata (Latin for “a thing adjudicated”) is the legal doctrine which prevents the same matter from being tried a second time once there has been a verdict or decision in regard to that matter. Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code, a criminal matter being decided in regard to a matter that contains a breach of the Human Rights Code does not necessarily prevent an applicant from filing at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario. This was the case in G.G. v. […] Ontario Limited.

 

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Employee awarded $ 150 000 in general damages for sexual harassment

Since 2008, adjudicators appointed under the Ontario Human Rights Code have had the power to award unlimited general damages as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. Since that time however, very few adjudicators have awarded more than $ 40.000 and most awards are under $ 20.000.

 

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“Virtual slave” awarded $50,000 for injury to dignity

Human Rights Tribunal found nanny was sexually assaulted, isolated and underfed by employer.

 

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Deaf worker terminated due to ‘inconvenience’

You’d probably be fair in thinking that a deaf, gay Aboriginal man can have a hard time getting a break, but Darryl Wesley seems like the type of person who doesn’t let obstacles get in his way. Nonetheless, when he was terminated from a landscaping job in North Bay, Ontario…

 

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The top 10 employment law stories of 2014

Here is a list of 10 cases that changed the employment law landscape in 2014.

 

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Are your sexual harassment and harassment policies proactive or reactive?

While at the First Reference Conference one year, an interesting conversation arose among attendees at my lunch table, where more than one complained that her workplace refused to implement an anti-bullying policy (as was required under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act), apparently because doing so would open the floodgates (as the HR Manager was the alleged bully).

 

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