First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Ministry of Labour

Private member’s bill would curtail unpaid internships

Opposition MPP Jonah Schein has introduced a private member’s bill to place stricter limits on unpaid internships in Ontario. Bill 170, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 2014, doesn’t seek to eliminate unpaid internships entirely, but rather hopes to make employers more accountable and give interns (and students) more legal clout.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time to re-examine your health and safety training

The Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation (O. Reg. 297/13), will come into effect on July 1, 2014, allowing workplace parties time to prepare. This blog post will provide you with more information about this regulation, an overview of your new training obligations, and identify a number of resources that you can use to assist you in becoming compliant.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Following an OHSA order is not a mitigating factor in sentencing

At trial, the employer was convicted of two offences under the OHSA and fined $25,000 for each offence. In determining the sentence, the Justice of the Peace (JP) noted that although the maximum fine for each offence was $500,000, the employer was not a particularly large operation, the injury was not particularly grave, nor did the accident occur as a result of the wilful disregard of a known hazard. The JP also acknowledged that the employer had taken steps “to establish a safe working environment” prior to the accident occurring.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Court of Appeal says that compliance with an inspector’s order should not mean a smaller fine

3d-gavel-freedigitalphotos-sscreations

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, has overturned a lower Court finding found that an employer should be “rewarded” with a lower fine if it complied with an Order from a Ministry of Labour Inspector to make safety improvements after an accident.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fatalities at work: are they leading to stiffer consequences?

In the 2012 Metron Construction and Swartz decisions concerning the deaths of four workers and serious injury of a fifth worker, the Ontario Court of Justice imposed substantial fines but no jail time for the company’s president under either provincial or federal legislation. More recently, however, in R. v. Roofing Medics Ltd., which involved the fatality of one worker, the court did impose jail time on the owner of the company. Employers should take note. It’s not yet clear if the Roofing Medics case will influence future decisions, but the Ontario Court of Justice has at least shown that it is willing to impose jail time on employers that do not comply with health and safety legislation.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OLRB upholds MOL finding that a vehicle is a “workplace” for the purposes of the OHSA

In a recent decision Hydro One Networks Inc. v. Thisdelle 2013 CanLii 67867, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) has upheld the decision of a Ministry of Labour Inspector (“MOL Inspector”) to issue a ticket against a Hydro One transportation and utility vehicle on the basis that the vehicle in and of itself constituted a “workplace” and therefore fell within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). This decision gives a broad definition to “workplace” and no doubt means that other vehicles will fall within the jurisdiction of the OHSA.

 

, , , , , ,

Bill 146 proposes crack down on temporary agencies and limits freedom of choice for construction workers

The Ontario Government has proposed legislation which would dramatically alter the legal landscape with respect to the obligations of employers when they use temporary agency workers. Bill 146 also broadens the definition of “worker” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, broadens the notification requirements for employers who hire foreign workers and makes it more difficult for unionized construction workers exercise their freedom of choice to decide whether they still wish to be represented by a trade union.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Facebook posting about co-worker = workplace harassment

In a recent case the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that a facebook posting about a co-worker’s Mexican heritage was prohibited workplace harassment under the Human Rights Code .

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Careful how you classify ‘interns’: Ministry of Labour releases policy statement

It is a fact of life for some entering the labour market—the unpaid internship. For young workers, it is an opportunity to gain experience in a desired field. For employers, it is an opportunity to have recent graduates perform necessary work or apprenticeship at less cost all while assessing suitability for continued employment. Perhaps the modern internship is best explained by the following…

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Illegal? Exploitative? The truth on unpaid internships

With university and college students now finished final exams and looking for summer work, it seems fitting that the latest controversy under the spotlight in the news is that of unpaid internships.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How can employers make legitimate deductions from an employees pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act?

A situation that arises all the time is whether an employer can deduct the full amount of a loan, an overpayment, the cost of faulty work, cash shortages or stolen goods or the costs of their uniforms. The issue of employer deductions is governed by section 13 of the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) and a clear understanding of the rules will avoid disputes and potential claims by the employee to the Ministry of Labour, Employment Standards Branch.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Assessing the risk of violence at work

Companies have had almost 3 years to implement violence and harassment prevention in the workplace provisions under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act , OHSA (also known as Bill 168). Like other items in the OHSA, obligations on employers to prevent workplace violence and harassment with written policies and programs require ongoing commitment, training, and review. A few highlights of some of the requirements that employers with five or more employees must demonstrate include:

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The prevention mandate at the Ministry of Labour: What WSIB and MOL transitions mean for employers in 2013

As of April 1, 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) officially took over the prevention mandate from WSIB. How has this been impacting employers in 2013 and what real effects are organizations seeing? If you have any comments about this, I’d love to hear.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most read articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with changes to CPP contributions, workplace safety awareness training programs and plans for mandatory training in 2014, and payroll rates for 2013.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

OHS poster, increased ESA enforcement and next MOL safety blitz includes violence prevention

The Ministry of Labour in Ontario is putting in place several enforcement measures to ensure compliance with Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety, including proactive and increased inspections of workplaces.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts Next posts