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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: workplace strategies where there is a risk of impairment from cannabis, how an employer’s suspicion alone was not enough to prove an allegation of sick leave abuse and how one employer dodged a penalty after failing to adhere to re-employment obligations.

 

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Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Employment law changes coming ($15 minimum wage and more); overtime exemptions under employment standards; and grievance of an employee alleging discrimination based on family status.

 

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Family status under the Code: Recent developments

The seminal cases dealing with discrimination based on family status more often than not address the issue of caregiving. In the recent case, Knox-Heldmann v. 1818224 Ontario Limited o/a Country Style Donut, the Tribunal demonstrates that discrimination based on family status is not restricted to caregiving.

 

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Use caution when managing your sick leave policy

When a health centre updated its sick-leave procedures, it thought it would be making it easier and safer for employees to return to work after an illness. In practice, things played out very differently.

 

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Punitive damages: Court of Appeal of Quebec reduces damages payable by an employer following a constructive dismissal

On July 7, 2014, the majority of the Quebec Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court that had ordered the employer to pay an amount of $1,086,767 due to a constructive dismissal, to reduce the amount of the damages awarded to $709,488.

 

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Honesty, the best policy in employment relationships

A recent decision out of the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal of an employee for behaving dishonestly towards his employer.

 

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OHRT rules the “flu” is not a “disability” attracting the protection of the Human Rights Code

As an employment law practitioner, it is refreshing to see any court and/or administrative tribunal release a decision that makes “common sense” (as well as legal sense). Recently, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal had to determine if the common flu and strep throat constituted disabilities under the Human Rights Code .

 

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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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Employer successfully proves dismissal for cause of long-service employee for false sick leave

It can be very difficult to establish cause for dismissal, particularly when the employee has lengthy service with the employer. However, on the right facts, it is possible to do so. MacBurnie v. Halterm Container Terminal Limited Partnership, 2013 NSSC 361, is a recent example of an employer that successfully proved at trial that it had dismissed an employee for cause.

 

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Cold and flu season has arrived ̶ Is your workplace prepared?

Cold and flu season has arrived. Cold and flu spread more easily in the cold winter months because they thrive in colder, less humid environments. Thus, between October and February of each year, virtually thousands of employees get sick with the cold and/or flu, and that translates into lost work time, reduced productivity and disruption of workplace operations. As we all know, the flu can wreak havoc in the workplace as it spreads very quickly. What can employers do to minimize the impact of colds and influenzas (flus) on the workplace?

 

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Wild workplaces making headlines

Let’s be honest. As HR professionals, we’ve all probably seen our fair share of oddities in the workplace. From unusual employee excuses for missing work to other hilarious mishaps, some workplaces are anything but boring. Over the past couple of months, the news has been flooded with stories of ridiculous happenings within the workplace. Check out some of the craziest ones of the bunch:

 

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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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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

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.

 

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Deciding whether to offer a paid leave, there are many considerations

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Employees’ personal lives seem to interfere with their working lives significantly (many of us might say it’s the other way around!). Employees are facing increased responsibility outside the workplace, whether to children, aging parents, military service or many other pressures of their personal lives.

 

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