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2017 workplace resolutions and fresh starts

January is a month of resolutions, fresh starts, and goals. It’s also a good time to run away from 2016 and the upsets and surprises the year rolled out. Here are 3 lessons that 2016 taught us as we all dig in to a new year in the workplace.

 

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Mandatory work experience programs for all Ontario students

On Thursday June 23, 2016, the Ontario government announced that they are considering mandatory work experience programs for all high school, college and university students.

 

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Allergies in the workplace

Many people across the world face allergies that have an effect on every aspect of their lives, including the workplace. These allergies can impose difficulties on either being in a workplace or performing certain tasks in their job. One thing for employers to note is that if the allergy is severe enough, it would probably be considered a disability and must be accommodated appropriately.

 

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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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Should work be fun?

Did you know that January 28th was National Fun at Work Day?

 

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Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision offers clarity on workplace sexual harassment

With the allegations against CBC Radio personality Jian Ghomeshi dominating the news over the past several weeks, it is useful to examine how the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal addressed allegations of workplace sexual harassment in the recent case of Horner v. Peelle Company Ltd. (2014) HRTO 1211.

 

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Workplace team sports – Not just a game

It is often stated that a fit and healthy workforce is a more productive workforce. Not surprisingly then, many employers encourage their employees to be more active and fit. In some cases this may include the sponsorship of a company sports team.

 

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A financial analyst, if a “manager”, is not entitled to overtime in Quebec

The Court of Appeal of Quebec recently considered, in the Skiba v. Playground[1] decision, the issue of overtime pay and, in particular, the correct interpretation of sections 54 and 55 of the Act respecting labour standards. In our opinion, this decision will have certain repercussions in the workplace, and we find it useful to review the factual background giving rise to those repercussions, as well as the conclusions of both the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal.

 

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Workplace violence & harassment: A policy is not enough!

Last month brought some tragic reminders of the reality of workplace violence and harassment and the obligations that employers have under Occupational Health and Safety Act).

 

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Accommodating injured workers vs. accommodating disabled employees

Under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA), an employer who employs 20 or more employees generally has a duty to re-employ an injured worker who has at least one year continuous service. And under the Ontario Human Rights Code, an employer has a duty to accommodate an employee with a disability. The duty to re-employ is however different than the duty to accommodate.

 

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No perfect attendance bonus to employee on workers’ compensation leave of absence

Managing absenteeism and dealing with the associated costs are among the most difficult things employers face. Accordingly, many employers try to incentivize employees to improve their attendance by providing bonuses based on meeting attendance thresholds. Seems simple enough. However, what if an employee is off work on a disability leave? That employee is off work through no fault of his/her own yet otherwise had perfect attendance. Should such an employee be able to claim the attendance bonus?

 

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April 28, Day of Mourning across Canada

Day of Mourning

On April 28 of each year, we honour workers who have lost their lives as a result of workplace injury or disease with the Day of Mourning.

 

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HR in the news: From unpaid internships to alcohol testing policies

It seems a lot of heated HR issues have begun to resurface in the news recently. From the accommodation of medical marijuana to the legality of unpaid internships, these are some issues that have been plaguing HR professionals in recent years.

 

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Navigating Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (the ESA) sets out the minimum terms of employment for most employees in Ontario. It is a complex law that is difficult to understand. An employer cannot contract out of these minimum standards. Did you know your organization must post a Minister of Labour poster entitled “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” in your workplace?

 

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Can you force an employee to provide proof of their religion or their religious beliefs?

Can you force an employee to provide proof of their religion or their religious beliefs? The issue of one’s religion or religious beliefs will only be relevant in the employment context when there is a request for accommodation. Typically…

 

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