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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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2019

First Reference annual holiday donation, season’s greetings and holiday break

From all of us at First Reference, we wish you a safe and happy holidays! At this time of year, we like to support organizations that are helping others.

 

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Top 10 most-read First Reference Talks blog posts for 2019

This year on the First Reference Talks blog, we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in employment and labour law and employee management. Making the list this year are blog posts on the topic of termination (again), on breaching confidentiality, privacy and the duty to accommodate among others.

 

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Denial of employee benefits to working seniors: a charter violation

On May 18, 2018, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario rendered its decision with respect to the issue of whether s. 25(2.1) of the Human Rights Code, when read alongside s. 44 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, permitted employers to terminate benefits for employees when they turned 65. In Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board, the Tribunal found that such a termination violated s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because it was a form of age discrimination.

 

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A wrongful dismissal time warp – When is two years really six?

Perhaps, when an ex-employee takes six years to “discover” that they were wrongfully dismissed.

 

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Handbook containing termination clause not binding

In Cheong v Grand Pacific Travel & Trade, (2016 BCSC 1321), Justice Warren held that an Employee Handbook containing an ESA only termination provision was unenforceable for the following reasons:

 

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Entitlements to public holidays during the holiday season

There are a number of upcoming public (statutory or general) holidays that require employers to provide paid days off to employees. Below, we have summarized some the most important obligations with respect to those holidays.

 

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Ontario new health and safety legislation 2020

Two regulations under OHSA (Occupational Health and Safety Act) come to effect January 1, 2020. These changes are only in the Ontario legislation. The first regulation Control of Exposure to Biological or Chemical Agents (Reg 883/90), and the second Designated Substances (Reg 490/09).

 

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Work is work: Duration of dependent contractor status to be included in notice calculations

In the recent decision of Cormier v. St. Joseph Communications, the Court of Appeal upheld a motion judge’s finding that when calculating reasonable notice periods, an employee is entitled to include the duration of time they were an dependent contractor. This case highlights the risks posed by evolving employment relationships and the importance of drafting legally defensible termination clauses.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with contracting out of the Ontario ESA, entitlements to public holidays and discrimination against a job applicant.

 

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Top employment law cases of the 2010s

In order of appearance, from newest to oldest, here are the employment law cases that shaped Ontario and to some extent every jurisdiction in Canada in the 2010s:

 

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Is “accent” protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code?

The applicant, originally from India, initially filed an application at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging reprisal in employment. The applicant alleged he had been offered a job and that during the training period, the trainer had made a number of remarks in regard to the applicant’s accent when speaking English.

 

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Informal work should still be governed by “formal” employment contracts

There is certainly no “one size fits all” model when it comes to a written employment contract. The agreement doesn’t need to be long or complicated… or “formal”, but it is perhaps naïve in today’s work environment, including in the “gig economy”, to believe that the good natured feelings present at the beginning of the work relationship will always be there, or that you’ll part ways with a temporary or short-term employee on good terms in every instance; or to believe that everyone is in agreement as to just how “independent” the employee is.

 

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“Failsafe” language fails to save termination provision

If a contractual termination clause provides for “the greater of” ESA entitlements and a set amount, will the guarantee of “the greater of” act as a failsafe if the rest of the provision is contrary to the provisions of the ESA?

 

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Love at work: considerations for employers in managing office romances

Office romances are nothing new. Many people have, and will likely continue, to meet their partners at work. In recent months, however, and in the wake of the #MeToo movement, office relationships have become something of a hot topic.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with vacation shaming, OHIP out-of-country coverage and workplace fatigue.

 

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