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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with remote work options, wrongful dismissal and drug and alcohol testing.

 

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Accommodating mental disabilities in the workplace

In our previous blog on mental health in the workplace, we looked at the distinction between mental illness and ordinary stress and anxiety. We’ll now turn our attention to ways employers should approach their duty to accommodate employees with mental disabilities.

 

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Fired because of race? Consider a human rights claim

In 2018, a group of eight Caucasian employees of the Spruce Hill Resort and Spa Ltd. (“the Resort”) in British Columbia made a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”), in which they alleged that they had been terminated from their employment because they were not Chinese. The Tribunal found that seven of the employees had been discriminated against on the basis of race and colour, and one employee had been discriminated against on the basis of sex.

 

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Normal anxiety or mental illness? A guide for employers

Employers have a duty to accommodate employees suffering from mental illnesses. But distinguishing mental illness from ordinary anxiety is no easy matter.

 

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Release of previous employer has no effect on termination by subsequent employer

In Manthadi v ASCO Manu (2019 ONSC 5572) Fowler Byrne J. had a situation where a 64 year old welder had over 36 years with Company A. Company A sold its business to the Defendant. Company A paid the plaintiff her 8 weeks under the ESA and she signed a release. The defendant immediately hired her on the closing date. She was terminated a few months later.

 

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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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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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