I have an internal debate with myself over whether most of the new or amended legal obligations answer a real need of employers and employees, or are borne of a need of legislators to justify their existence, or appear to addressing crises which really aren't. And just as soon as I have convinced myself that additional laws and regulations are, for the most part, too onerous to justify their limited value, I read numerous news reports on the prevalency of wage theft in Ontario and workplace employment standards violations.
For those of us that specialize in employment law, advising the recently-dismissed employee can be among the most challenging of experiences. In many cases, the employee is quite emotional, and more often than not, they have been filled with ideas about what the law requires by their colleagues, family, and friends. Not only do we have to encourage them to approach the situation objectively, but we also have to dispel them of many of the notions that have filled their head.
Businesses know as well as people how quickly a new year can arrive—along with the new obligations that go along with it. In this case, I'm talking about the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and multi-year accessibility plans to meet the requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Large organizations—those with 50 or more employees—must comply by 2014.