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Happy holidays and see you in 2011

We are taking a break from blogging over the holidays…


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Slaw: CSST services and website available only in French

The Office québécois de la langue française requires that all communications between the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité du Travail du Québec (CSST, Quebec’s workplace health and safety board) and employers, suppliers and partners take place in French only, to comply with…


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Ministers agree on private sector pension plan

On Monday December 20, 2010, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the provinces, territories and the federal government came to an agreement during their meeting in Alberta to move ahead with a new private-sector pension plan called the pooled registered pension plan framework. This means any talk regarding the expansion of the Canada Pension Plan is put on hold for now.


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Impact on employers of the Open for Business Act: Employment standards complaints

The oddly named Open for Business Act 2010 received royal assent on October 21, 2010. The purpose of this Ontario statute, as its name implies, is to promote Ontario as being “open for business”. It amends and simplifies procedures within a number of government ministries, including the Ministry of Labour.


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The season of stress?

What types of pressures you’re feeling this season—both at and away from work—and how do you deal with them? My coping method is to pray desperately for vacation (four days away!) and think about how great I’ll feel in the new year.


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Slaw: Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario as a regulator

Bill 138, the Registered Human Resources Professionals Act, 2010 received first reading in the Ontario Legislature on November 23, 2010. The aim of the Bill is to make human resources…


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Occupational health and safety panel recommendations: mandatory training and enhanced enforcement

On December 10, 2010, the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety submitted its report to the Ontario government, containing several significant recommendations that will help improve workplace health and safety. The panel believes that…


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Most organizations still don’t encrypt data when it leaves the office

I recently read a news release by the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that indicated that there are still high incidences of laptops containing personal information being stolen—without having security measures such as encryption put in place. The commissioner was left scratching his head.


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Pilot project for dependents of high-skilled Canadians or permanent residents returning to Ontario could go farther

On November 24, 2010, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced that it was implementing a pilot project to grant open work permits to foreign spouses, common law partners, and dependent children of skilled Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents who are returning to Ontario for work. However, the pilot project is extremely limited.


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Nova Scotia creation of the ‘Superboard’

As Christina Catenacci recently blogged, my home Province of Nova Scotia has taken steps to create a unified labour board. While the establishment of the Labour Board itself has not been the subject of much debate, the Bill that introduced it did create some controversy as it also introduced changes to our Trade Union Act.


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Christmas greetings in the workplace may be offensive

You can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore—they have taken all the fun out of coming to work. What about my human rights? Wow! Where did all this negativity come from? I decided to do some research and look for the origins of this Christmas bashing and I turned up some interesting cases.


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Employer performed unauthorized credit checks on employees

I recently read an investigation report from the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, where an employer made a big mistake and ended up violating the privacy of at least 25 employees.


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Workplace violence and harassment training

I guess I’m lucky never to have experienced harassment at work and I certainly never expect to at my current job—unless you count some gentle ribbing at the annual croquet tournament. But nevertheless, First Reference recently had its first mandated workplace violence and harassment training session to educate me and my co-workers on the company’s new mandated policies.


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Paving company owner OHS fine for death of teen

A Manitoba business owner was fined $33,500 for numerous workplace and safety violations which contributed to the death of a 15-year-old boy who was buried in burning asphalt.


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Overtime rules can trap the unwary employer

In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act (ESA) requires employers to pay at least time and a half for all hours worked by an employee in excess of 44 per week. Employers who, for different reasons, fail to pay overtime pay have faced two types of claims by employees…


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