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Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

Employment standards: Risks of paying employees “under the table”

Before hiring your first employee, an employer needs to educate itself on the various requirements under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (and other legislation such as the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “WSIA”) and Occupational Health and Safety Act­) and the nuances associated with termination of an employee’s employment. Although there will be some upfront costs associated with record keeping, registering for insurance pursuant to the WSIA and learning about employment legislation, the benefits of such proactivity will pay off in the future when issues inevitably arise, even if you only have one or two employees.

 

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The virtual office: Working from home considerations

With the advancement of technology, employers looking to cut overhead costs, and family and lifestyle accommodations growing, working from home is becoming more and more common. However, there are some considerations that must be explored before such practices are approved.

 

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What injured workers need to know about WSIB

If you sustained a workplace injury and are in receipt of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board benefits for the first time, there are essential pieces of information that you should be familiar with…

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: A case where an employee was denied entitlement to ongoing WSIB benefits because of a pre-existing back condition; an income tax folio on benefits and allowances received, published by the CRA; a case that deals with an employer’s ability to randomly test for drugs and alcohol.

 

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WSIB claims for mental distress

For years, those of us that practice in the area of Employment Law have taken it as a given: if you suffer from mental distress caused by circumstances in the workplace, you cannot bring a WSIB claim except in very limited circumstances. Unlike physical injuries, WSIB would not cover psychological or emotional damage, even if it could be shown to be a workplace injury. That has now been called into question, as a Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal found that the statutory provision limiting the entitlement to benefits for mental distress is inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, therefore, unconstitutional.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with limits on workplace mental stress claims; employee refusal to work on Sunday; and how an employee’s profanity towards a supervisor was not cause for termination.

 

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Tribunal finds limits on mental health claims unconstitutional

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) has found that the limit on mental health claims under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (“WSIA”) is unconstitutional.

 

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HRLaw: End of the year wrap up and other legislative changes effective January 1, 2013

Several changes to pension, employment standards, payroll and other legal requirements are coming into force January 1, 2013 or later. Below you will find brief summaries, listed by jurisdiction, of some of the important changes employers need to know about and prepare for: (The post is now updated and includes the new AODA Built environment requirements coming into force January 1, 2013).

 

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The enforceability of termination provisions within contracts of employment

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The employment relationship is a contractual one whether or not a contract of employment was signed. Contracts can be express or implied contracts, i.e., you agree to work and I agree to pay you. Verbal bargains are nearly always upheld as long as those implied contracts are governed by particular employment standards and obligations established by the common law.

 

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WSIB introduces safe communities incentive program

Do you, like 98 percent of Ontario businesses, employ 100 or fewer employees? Then you should try SCIP-ing into spring with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s Safe Communities Incentive Program.

 

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Final WSIB work reintegration/NEER policies

Last March, we discussed the WSIB’s new return-to-work approach that consist of the interim changes to the work reintegration policies under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act , and the Work Reintegration NEER policy. Following extensive stakeholder consultation, the final seven policies on Work Reintegration and NEER become effective July 15, 2011.

 

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Sweeping occupational health and safety bill passes in Ontario – impact on employers

The Ontario Legislative Assembly passed Bill 160, the Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2011 by a vote of 79–0. Most provisions of the Bill will take effect when it receives royal assent sometime in June. However, some sections will take effect on either April 1, 2012, or a date set by the lieutenant-governor, whichever is earlier.

 

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A new return-to-work approach: WSIB work reintegration policies

Interim changes to work reintegration policies under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act came into force recently. The new work reintegration policies formally integrate existing policies on early and safe return to work, re-employment and labour market re-entry.

 

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Upcoming Ontario employment law related changes

On October 5, 2010, the Ontario government introduced Bill 110, the Good Government Act, 2010, an omnibus bill that, if passed, would amend various pieces of legislation, including the Employment Standards Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. The changes include general housekeeping measures, as well as some technical improvements and modernization measures. Specifically, regarding the employment law related changes, schedule 7 of Bill 110 makes the following key changes…

 

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Managing absenteeism – Learn the latest!

The third session at First Reference’s Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 2, 2010, covers managing absenteeism. When dealing with absenteeism, employers must respect the protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, as well as the accommodation rules found under the Human Rights Code and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.

 

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