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.
The Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace – Prevention, promotion and guidance to staged implementation was released by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Bureau de Normalization du Québec and the Canadian Standards Association on January 16, 2013. The Standard provides employers with a framework to develop and sustain a psychologically healthy and safe workplace, through the identification and elimination of hazards in the workplace, the assessment and control of the risks in the workplace, the implementation of structures and practices to facilitate psychological health, and the fostering of a workplace culture that promotes psychological well-being.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board has recently found a Company to be in breach of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to comply with its duties under the workplace violence and harassment provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (section 32) (formerly Bill 168).
Last week, Alison J. Bird wrote for the First Reference Talks blog about the R. v. Cole case, involving a high school teacher who had kept photos of a naked, underage student on his work computer. In the several days, there have been a flurry of news stories calling attention to privacy boundaries employees can expect regarding work-licensed technology.
How often do your employees travel? If your answer is: “Not that often,” you may not have considered implementing a policy regarding work travel. More importantly, you may not have considered whether you are liable if something happens to a worker while they are travelling. Do you know how the new changes to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act affect work travel and your employees?
When an employer seeks to rely on a breach of policy in disciplining an employee, the employer must prove that it clearly communicated the policy to the employee in question and has enforced the policy consistently. The importance of such communication in enforcement of workplace policies was demonstrated in Lambe v. Irving Oil Ltd.
The federal government gave royal assent to Bill C-13, Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act on December 15, 2011. Several of the measures enacted have an impact on employment law for federally regulated workplaces. One of the measures amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to eliminate the mandatory retirement age for federally regulated employees.
On March 22, 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a significant judgment concerning the protection of privacy in the workplace. Specifically, the Court determined that an employee had an expectation of privacy when using a laptop made available by the employer on which he was allowed to retain personal information.
All jurisdictions in Canada provide for a number of public (also called statutory or general holidays) holidays each year. Some are common to all jurisdictions; others are specific to individual provinces and territories. Family Day is a public holiday under provincial employment standards legislation, observed the third Monday in February every year in five jurisdictions in Canada.
You arrive at the office Monday morning to discover that your Senior Vice-President of Marketing and three of your sales people have resigned and accepted jobs with your competitor. You quickly realize that this has the potential of seriously harming, if not destroying, the company’s business. Do you have any recourse against the departing employees or the company to which they have moved?
Employee fraud is on the rise, as organizations cut back on staff, and their internal controls slacken as a result. However, the monetary loss is just the beginning of the problem. A recent white paper from Grant Thornton LLP notes that, “Failure to crack down on this unethical—and indeed criminal—behaviour blurs the line between right and wrong. It creates a culture of entitlement that can extend across the business. And it can open the door to more significant corporate theft.”
Anyone who thinks that the days of individual and systemic racism in Canada are behind us should think again. It might not be nice to think about, but across the country, Canadians and visitors to Canada face racism every day.
What do you do when an employee tells you she’s refusing to work because she fears she’ll suffer from an act of violence at the workplace? You might ask: can the worker even do that? With workplace violence and harassment legislation and regulation spreading across Canada, you might just need to know.