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IRCC announces details of global skills strategy

On June 12, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced details of its Global Skills Strategy. First announced in November 2016, the Global Skills Strategy is intended to help promote global investment in Canada and support the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.

 

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The Wal-Mart saga: one more chapter

On June 27th, the Supreme Court of Canada released a decision in the Wal-Mart saga that will have a major impact on employment law in Quebec.

 

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The latest: When does a constructively dismissed employee have to stay with their employer?

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada issued Evans v Teamsters Local Union No. 31, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 661, one of the leading decisions on constructive dismissal in Canada. In that case, the Court held that a constructively dismissed employee must mitigate their damages by continuing to work with the dismissing employer if a reasonable person would accept this mitigation opportunity. In determining whether it is reasonable to mitigate by working for the dismissing employer, the Court stated that one should consider the following factors:

 

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Better the devil you know? employee’s obligation to accept an alternate position

Ever since the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2008 in a case Evans v. Teamsters Local Union, the courts have recognized the obligation of an employee, in certain circumstances, to accept an offer of alternate employment from their employer following dismissal. This has put many employees in the awkward position of determining whether or not the offer of employment is one that must be accepted based on the Evans’ reasoning. The difficulty faced by many employees’ counsel is the degree of difference in the position being offered, and whether such difference justifies the employee rejecting the offer of employment.

 

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Ontario Ministry of Labour announces 2014-15 employment standards inspection blitzes

On April 3, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced the focus of its 2014-15 Employment Standards Act (ESA) inspection blitzes. A “blitz” occurs when the Ministry of Labour (MOL) decides to have its employment standards officers target industries that have a history of employment standards violations or industries that employ vulnerable workers in order to ensure compliance with the ESA.

 

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Labour Day, Monday, September 2, is the next public (statutory) holiday

Labour Day originates in the labour union movements of the 1800s as a way to celebrate the social and economic advancements and to pay tribute to the driving force of our economy. The history of Labour Day continued to be connected with organized labour. Initially, the first unofficial “Labour Days” in Canada were […]

 

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More fall-out from the Just Us union organizing drive

secondcup-baristas-halifax-union

On July 13, 2013, a rally of workers and their supporters from a Second Cup coffee outlet in Halifax was held alleging that management had violated Nova Scotia’s Labour Code. Participants alleged that three employees were fired for backing an attempt to form a union.

 

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HR policies as prevention

At a conference a few years back, there was a session about steps an employer can legally take to oppose a union organizing campaign. I recall my initial reaction to the topic was once a union organizing campaign begins, “it’s too late”. I believe that most union organizing is borne of long-time employee dissatisfaction and insecurity regarding working conditions and management. While there may be some workplaces where union organization results from a political ideology, in most cases, few employees would sign up for the paying of union dues if they did not see the union as an answer to substandard or uncertain workplace policies.

 

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A recent survey on job attitudes

I just read an interesting article that found only 44% were satisfied with their jobs, about 32% were somewhat satisfied and 24% were not very satisfied or not at all satisfied. That is a significant number of people (56%) who did not answer “very satisfied” about their jobs.

 

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Workplace communication and the real world: email features for the quick-tempered and impulsive

You’ve written an email that says some things you might be better off saying in person—or not at all—right? Like when you wanted to tell off a co-worker—or supervisor—about taking credit for your work, or putting you down in front of the boss, or just for generally being a jerk. Maybe you were caught up in the anger of the moment—you let your temper get the best of you—or maybe you were just a bit—or a lot—drunk. And maybe you hit that “Send” button, and maybe you reconsidered before it was too late. I don’t like to imagine the result of sending such a message.

 

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Multi-tasking: where do you draw the line?

Multi-tasking is so serious that workers are taking their work into the washroom, with disturbing results. According to a recent survey, one-third of Brits admit they’ve made a “stall-call”—that is, a call from the toilet, not just the restroom—whether for business or pleasure. And one in twenty said they’ve taken their laptop with them when nature called. The survey also found a significant—and disgusting—number of people eat, drink and brush their teeth while answering nature’s call.

 

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Were the G8/G20 summits worth it? Tell us about your experience

Now that the big do is over, and the security fences are coming down in Toronto and Huntsville—hopefully—let’s take a moment to reflect on how all the hubbub of the G8/G20 summits affected local businesses.

 

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Has your workplace experienced an outbreak of the ‘World Cup Flu’?

Are your employees suffering from the “World Cup Flu”? Are you finding that there is an unusually high rate of absenteeism in your office these days?

 

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Hours of work: What counts as ‘work’ in the Blackberry era?

I lifted that title from a presentation at the recent Davis LLP employment law update, because I don’t think I need to improve on it. The question seems simple, but I’m certain that it has got many employers and human resources departments wishing the handy devices had never been invented! (Okay, maybe not that confused.)

 

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Can employers prevent workplace suicide?

I was recently reading an issue of SafetyNewsAlert, which indicated that there were over 20 attempted suicides over one year in a single Chinese technology factory—one that manufactures products for Apple, including the iPad, among other things. Out of the 20 attempts, 9 suicides were successful within a period of five months. According to the article, questions are being raised about the sustainability of China’s manufacturing model, which relies on long hours from its workers. Typical workweeks include seven days of twelve hours.

 

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