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2020

Bullying in the workplace

Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could “mentally” hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact as well. Bullying usually involves repeated incidents or a pattern of behaviour that is intended to intimidate a particular person or group of people.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with revised WSIB policies, updated CRA tables, forms and guides, and workplace safety inspections.

 

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Is that porn discriminatory? Closed captioning and human rights

While the facts of the case in this article might be funny to some, it is an important reminder for employers in Ontario who provide services to the public. Provincially regulated businesses are subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

 

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Are employees “off-ramping” from your organization?

We live in an age of increased workplace stress (not to mention societal stress in the form of newspaper headlines), and burnout has now been recognized in the International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon.

 

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When worlds collide – The evolution of employment law principles in the termination of independent contractor relationships

To my mind, what Barresi demonstrates is that the line between employment law principles and “independent contractor” commercial law principles continues to blur. As the nature of what it means to be “employed” continues to evolve, so too must the law.

 

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Food for thought: do employers need to accommodate ethical veganism in the workplace?

While the Ontario Human Rights Code has been interpreted in a liberal manner, there are situations where employees will experience workplace discrimination that falls beyond its scope. One area where it remains unclear to what extent the Code will apply, however, is with respect to vegan employees.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with disability discrimination, data privacy and regulating vaping in Canada.

 

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Unfair Investigation? No Comment.

We are now in a world where workplace harassment is taken much more seriously than it was before. Although some jurisdictions in Canada do not have an explicit legal obligation to investigate incidents of this nature, there is now a pressing moral obligation to do so. But when such a moral obligation is unmoored from legal principles or government-issued guidelines, there is a greater risk of unfairness to all parties. An investigation in this context is more likely to be guided by an emotional drive to either undermine those who raise complaints or persecute those who are alleged to have behaved badly, rather than arriving at factual findings from a neutral perspective using a fair investigation process.

 

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When #TimesUp goes on trial: Key Takeaways from a judge’s decision following a sexual harassment investigation

Although stories of workplace sexual harassment were pervasive as we closed the last decade, it was uncommon to see any of these cases make it all the way to trial. Early (and confidential) settlements with the accused are the norm, and trials are rare.

 

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Reinstatement and accommodation under Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation

For workplace accidents occurring on or after September 1, 2018, non-exempt employers have an obligation under section 88.1 of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act (the “WCBAct”) to accommodate and reinstate most workers injured in a work-related accident to their pre-accident position or a comparable position with the same earnings.

 

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So what exactly is a “dependent contractor”?

I have often commented on the widespread misclassification of workers and, more specifically, the common practice of treating a worker as an Independent Contractor when they are really an employee in all but name.

 

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2019-2020 federal government departmental mandates of interest to employers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released the mandate letters for each of the 37 cabinet Ministers of his minority Liberal government.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with workplace etiquette, 2020 payroll rates and the federal government’s mandate letters.

 

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Notable cases of 2019

As we shut the door on 2019 and begin 2020, we at SpringLaw thought this was a good time to look back on some of the biggest 2019 employment law cases in Ontario! Here is our list of the top 5 cases of 2019 and their key take-aways for employers and employees alike.

 

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Termination clauses: (Yet) another one bites the dust

I advise employers and employees and therefore regularly draft and review termination clauses. The issue of whether a termination clause complies with the minimum notice requirements set out in the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) may be the most litigated issue in employment law over the past 5 years. So employment lawyers like me pay close attention to what the courts are saying on this issue.

 

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