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Working safely from home

What are the employer’s obligations to an employee when an employee is not working in the office? With so many employees now working from home, employers’ health and safety obligations need to be reexamined.

 

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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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COVID-19: Health and safety protocols for construction sites

All industries are facing an ongoing and fluid landscape amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplaces are temporarily shutting down, or have moved towards unprecedented work-at-home procedures. However, many construction jobsites remain open throughout Canada and B.C. B.C.’s Health Officer has clarified that the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people does not apply construction jobsites. Nonetheless, while the construction industry continues to operate, doing so is not without change, risk and the need to adapt.

 

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Employee wellbeing: Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

As the spread of the Coronavirus has increased and continues to increase, a majority of employees are now working from home. With employees working from home during social distancing, now is the time to ensure that you support your employees. Here are a few tips to ensure you are adequately checking in with your employees and ensuring their mental wellbeing:

 

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Remote work and information privacy

An unprecedented number of organizations have asked their employees to move to remote work in response to the COVID-19 Health Emergency.

 

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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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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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Are you reporting potentially serious incidents?

Alberta employers have long been required to report “serious workplace injuries and incidents” to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (“OHS”) as soon as possible.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with meal and vehicle rates, employment law changes in Alberta and rules for working in the cold.

 

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Let’s “talk” – Sweet employee engagement

It’s important to remember that employee engagement is more than employees feeling good about the work they do or liking the people with whom they work. It’s about an employee feeling that they have a role in the company or on the team, that they make a difference, and that they aren’t just a cog in the corporate wheel.

 

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Wrongful dismissal update: Judge upholds just cause termination for a 30 year employee who touched a co-workers buttock

After a 10 day trial, an Ontario judge recently concluded that touching a female’s buttock in the presence of four witnesses, who had conflicting versions of what happened, was just cause for termination for an employee with 30 years’ service who had a clean disciplinary record.

 

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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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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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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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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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