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Human Rights

Good Friday, Easter and Passover in 2020

Good Friday and Easter Sunday coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover in 2020. Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts in that they do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, their dates are determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. It has come to be the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March, but calculations vary in East and West.

 

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COVID-19: What a difference a month makes

In over 30 years I have never seen one topic dominate my employment law practice like COVID-19 has over the last three weeks. Some Ontario businesses have gone from working at 100% capacity to 0% because the Ontario government has declared these businesses as non-essential and working remotely is not possible.

 

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Family status accommodation requests: How far do employers need to go?

The human rights landscape in Ontario has been fraught with differing legal standards and understandings of what an employer’s legal obligations are regarding family status accommodation.

 

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Supreme Court of Canada cracks open the door for international human rights tort claims in Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya

Although the majority decision in this case does not definitively establish the existence of torts based on international human rights violations in Canadian courts, the reasons represent a significant leap in judicial thinking on the responsibilities and liability of Canadians corporations who operate internationally in jurisdictions where human rights abuses may occur.

 

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Starting an investigation when no one asked (or wanted) you to

Somewhere between going on an ill-advised “fishing expedition” and commencing a clearly defined investigation of a formal complaint, lies a grey area rife with uncertain legal obligations and sticky situations.

 

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Disallowing kilts while on duty does not equal discrimination

Employers must remember to consider these basic principles when responding to any claim alleging discrimination on the basis of the Code.

 

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COVID-19 pandemic: Fact sheet for employers and employees

In this post, we try to address some of the main questions and concerns you may have as an employer or employee in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you will find this general information useful, but want to stress the importance of obtaining independent legal advice with respect to your individual circumstances.

 

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Sick with worry: An employer’s guide to managing coronavirus concerns in the workplace

Coronavirus – by now, that’s a term we’ve all heard. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus is a new and contagious respiratory virus characterized by fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Coronavirus symptoms are common to a lot of viral illnesses, and in many respects, a mild coronavirus infection can look a lot like a bad cold or flu. However, in some cases, coronavirus can lead to significant and life-threatening complications.

 

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Hearing racial slur in song lyrics not prohibited discrimination: BCHRT

Is hearing music that contains a racial slur, playing in a retail establishment, sufficient to establish discrimination under section 8 of the British Columbia Human Rights Code.

 

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Managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) for employers

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been the dominating news topic of 2020 so far. Canadian health officials maintain that, at this point, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low in all parts of Canada. However, it is important for employers to be prepared to respond as COVID-19 continues to develop both in Canada and globally.

 

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Constructive dismissal update: Employee claiming damages for workplace harassment barred from commencing court action

If this case is upheld on appeal, this decision suggests that if an employee quits because of workplace harassment, then the employee will not be able to bring a constructive dismissal in the courts in some cases.

 

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No obligation to accommodate employee’s “preference” to work closer to home

A recent arbitration decision is helpful for employers dealing with accommodation requests, particularly with respect to a request to be transferred to a different location.

 

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Dois-je tout dévoiler à la partie intimée?

C’est une question que l’on nous pose souvent pendant notre formation sur les techniques de base en matière d’enquêtes au travail. Devons-nous vraiment tout dévoiler avant l’entrevue avec la partie intimée? Certains participants pensent que la partie intimée fournira des informations plus spontanées et candides s’il y a un élément de surprise pendant l’entrevue.

 

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Do I have to tell the respondent everything?

One of the questions we are often asked is how much information should be disclosed to a respondent during an investigation. Some feel that respondents are more likely to provide honest and candid information if they are taken by surprise as opposed to having advance notice of the allegations and supporting evidence. The fear is that with the information, a respondent may have more time to concoct a story in response to the allegations and evidence.

 

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Devil’s in the detail or employment contracts redux*: The twelve most common avoidable drafting errors

Employment contracts should be reviewed and revised on a periodic basis. Courts have routinely found that a contract will not be upheld or enforced unless it reflects the reality of the employment relationship.

 

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