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What responsibility does your company have to workers with cancer?

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada and is one of the leading causes of death in the country, responsible for approximately 30 percent of deaths each year. Forty percent of Canadians will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. As a result, employers must deal with both the risk and effects of both occupational and non-occupational cancers in their workplace.

 

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Five employment issues facing Ontario retailers

I am fortunate in my practice to work with clients in different industries, ranging from healthcare and social services to traditional manufacturing. Although employment laws generally apply to all industries in much the same way, there are usually certain issues that some industries face more than others. This is true of many clients I assist in the retail industry.

 

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Balancing one-year contracts with pregnancy leave

What happens when an employee subject to one-year contracts requests pregancy leave? The employee in this case had been working for the Community Justice Society in Nova Scotia on a one-year contract basis for two years. She asked for a meeting with the executive director because her contract was ending in a month’s time. She […]

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with a reinstatement that was ruled an undue hardship for the employer, how a series of health and safety violations can be just cause for termination and how an employee on maternity leave was justly terminated due to a corporate downsizing.

 

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Understanding the rights of pregnant employees in Ontario

Pregnant employees or those employees intending to become pregnant, enjoy significant protection under various provincial and federal statutes. This article will explore the protections provided by the Ontario Human Rights Code, Employment Standards Act, and the Employment Insurance Act.

 

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Workplace accommodation: what about before birth?

When an employee is going to have a child, an employer needs to prepare for the worker’s eventual leave of absence, particularly if the employee is the mother, but increasingly for fathers, too. But important changes happen to expecting employees long before their baby is born, and employers should understand this and consider how these changes will affect the workplace.

 

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$450-million EI class-action lawsuit

The federal government is facing a $450-million class-action lawsuit for failing to provide sickness employment Insurance benefits to women already receiving maternity EI benefits while on maternity leave. The aim of the lawsuit is to ensure no other new mother who becomes seriously ill during maternity leave has to fight for sickness benefits.

 

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Adoptive mothers not allowed maternity leave

Under employment standards legislation, birth mothers receive a total of 52 weeks of leave when they combine maternity (17 weeks) and parental leave (35 weeks), and are entitled to receive a total of 50 weeks of EI benefits (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental) for that period. However, the same benefits are not available to adoptive mothers, who only receive 37 weeks of parental leave and 35 weeks of EI benefits. Now a new movement to challenge the law to provide equal EI benefits to adoptive parents is gaining momentum…

 

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Myths and misunderstandings regarding employees on leave

As more employees spend time on leaves of absence, employers seem to be struggling to understand their rights and obligations…

 

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The underrepresentation of women in the workplace

I just read an interesting report about women in the workplace. Essentially, the report suggests that women remain underrepresented relative to their male counterparts, even though they form a highly educated and skilled labour pool in the market. Given the skills shortage that is expected to occur in the near future due to mass retirements of senior baby boomer workers, this is an unsettling finding. But why is this happening?

 

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Women in the workplace Part II: why is Canada lagging in wage gap ranking?

I have been reading some interesting articles recently regarding women in the workplace. A recent report put Canada at number 20 in a global measure of equality between men and women. Canada was actually rated number 33 in the world concerning earned income gaps. Why is this still happening?

 

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Protection for pregnant women strengthened by Ontario and British Columbia courts

In a decision released on July 19, 2010, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario held that an employee who was fired because she was pregnant had been discriminated against on a prohibited ground…

 

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Reinstating employees after pregnancy leave

Employers might not be clear on what happens after a female employee returns from her pregnancy/maternity leave of absence. Does the employee have to be reinstated to the exact position once she returns to work? Is it acceptable to place the employee in a different yet similar position? What if that position does not exist any longer? What if the employee must be terminated for other reasons not having to do with the pregnancy?

 

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Could human rights law increase some kinds of discrimination?

Here’s a question that probably few lawmakers are interested in asking themselves: does human rights legislation make the people it is designed to protect less desirable to employers?

 

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Tribunal awards $35,000 to fired pregnant employee

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently awarded a woman $35,000 after her employer fired her when she revealed on her first day of work that she was four months pregnant. (The award covered $20,000 in lost wages and benefits, and $15,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.) In addition to the damage award, given the overwhelming number of women working for the employer, the tribunal ordered the company to implement and distribute a written policy on the accommodation of pregnancy to ensure future compliance.

 

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