Tag archives: Employment & Labour

Dismissed employee failed to mitigate by choosing retraining over applying for comparable re-employment

In Benjamin v. Cascades Canada ULC, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reviewed the law surrounding an employee’s duty to mitigate their common law reasonable notice damages arising from wrongful dismissal. In such cases, the onus is on the employer to establish a failure to mitigate, and that onus requires the employer to establish that … Continue reading

Preparing for the changes to Ontario’s vacation entitlements proposed in Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

  Currently, employees covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) are entitled to at least two weeks of vacation time after completing 12 continuous months of employment (whether active or inactive). Vacation pay is addressed separately from vacation time, and employees are currently entitled to at least 4% of their wages as vacation pay.  … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes key reforms for bargaining unit review

  Under the current Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”), once a bargaining unit is certified, any changes to the composition of the bargaining unit are voluntary. Bill 148 proposals, if passed, would amend the LRA to provide that: the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) can review the structure of a bargaining unit if it is … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 proposes considerable changes to equal pay for equal work provisions

The recently released Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148) proposes considerable changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), including a number of new equal pay for equal work provisions. If passed, Bill 148 would considerably expand the current ESA equal pay provisions, which only contemplate equal pay between the sexes. In particular, the proposed … Continue reading

Bill C-4: One step forward, two steps back

On June 19, House Government Bill C-4, « An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act », received Royal Assent after an interesting showdown between the Government and the Senate. The objective of this Bill, which constituted an electoral … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes considerable changes to employers’ scheduling of work

The scheduling of work is one of many areas that would see significant revamping under Ontario’s proposed Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). Bill 148 was recently released in response to the highly anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, which recommended sweeping changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA) and Labour Relations Act. Bill … Continue reading

A new criterion for unreasonableness: The obligation for adjudicators to demonstrate their consideration of progressive discipline

In a recent decision of the Federal Court of Canada, the Court had occasion to apply the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada ltd (Wilson) for one of the first times. In his decision, Justice Diner found that it was unreasonable for an adjudicator not to consider both the … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act proposes a 32% increase in the minimum wage

The Ontario government has proposed to increase the general minimum wage to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2018, and to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019. Additionally, the special minimum wage rate for students under 18, liquor servers, hunting/fishing guides and homeworkers will remain in effect, with increases by the same percentage as … Continue reading

Tougher Penalties for ESA Non-Compliance under Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

Tougher Penalties for ESA Non-Compliance under Ontario Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 The proposed Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148) represents the first major overhaul of Ontario’s employment and labours in over two decades.  While many of the Bill 148 amendments are aimed at enhancing the substantive rights of workers, … Continue reading

An important decision on the implementation of drug and alcohol policies in safety-sensitive workplaces issued by the Supreme Court of Canada

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a much awaited judgment on an appeal from an Alberta Court of Appeal decision in the Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp. case. Mr. Stewart (the Appellant) worked in a mine operated by the Elk Valley Coal Corporation, driving a loader. As a means to ensure safety in … Continue reading

Summer Dress Codes

With summer fast approaching appropriate summer dress codes are back in the spotlight. Frequent discussion takes place regarding the degree to which an employer can determine what an employee is permitted to wear. Inappropriate work attire can be problematic to deal with for employers.  What is appropriate summer work attire in a given workplace, and … Continue reading

Do employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave enjoy any special protection in the event of redundancy in Germany?

This post was also contributed by Tony Rau, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich). German law provides for extensive protection of pregnant employees and employees on leave in connection with pregnancy. Regarding the latter, German law distinguishes between maternity leave (i.e. 6 weeks before until 8 weeks after childbirth – or 6 weeks before until … Continue reading

Ontario Government intends to introduce proposed legislation, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017

Earlier today Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn unveiled the government’s formal response to the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report and the special advisors’ 173 recommendations for change to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). Wynne’s Liberal government has not embraced all of those recommendations.  … Continue reading

Do employees who are pregnant or on maternity leave enjoy any special protection in the event of redundancy in France?

As is the case in many other countries (particularly countries in the European Union, which are covered by EU Directive 92/85/CEE dated 19 October 1992), France has implemented a full set of rules with the goal of protecting pregnant employees or employees on maternity leave against illegitimate termination of their employment contract. These protections also … Continue reading

Sweeping Changes to Ontario’s Labour and Employment Laws Proposed in OCW Final Report

Today the Government of Ontario released the much anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report.  As special advisors C. Michael Mitchell and the Honourable John C. Murray note in their report, this is the first independent review in Canada to consider specific legislative changes to both employment standards and labour relations in a single process.  Their … Continue reading

Butt out! (ergonomically speaking): British Columbia Court of Appeal outlines management and union rights in employee accommodations

On February 28, 2017 the British Columbia Court of Appeal issued a decision that should be welcomed by unionized employers dealing with accommodating employees.  In Telus Communications Inc. v. Telecommunications Workers’ Union, 2017 BCCA 100 the issue was whether the employer was able to deal directly with its unionized employees when attempting to accommodate those … Continue reading

Expanding definition of “sex discrimination” under Title VII

The Judiciary continues to act where Congress will not All employment attorneys—and most employers—know that Title VII bars discrimination based on certain enumerated personal characteristics: race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It has long been the case that “sex” meant biological sex only, i.e., discriminating against a woman because she is a woman, or … Continue reading

Human resources managers can be indirectly liable for harassment

Health and safety of employees is highly protected in France. Employers are  responsible for the prevention of any damage to their employees’ health and safety resulting from their work. Amongst other things, French law requires employers to ensure that their employees are protected from any harassment at work. But another provision of the French Employment … Continue reading

Federal Government’s 2017 Budget Proposes Changes to Maternity and Parental Leave

The Liberal Government’s 2017 federal budget (“Budget 2017”) proposes changes that affect maternity and parental leaves and associated Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits. Currently, EI combined parental and maternity benefits are available at the benefit rate of 55 per cent over a period of up to 12 months. Budget 2017 proposes that this option continue to … Continue reading

Signed on the Dotted Line in Time? The Court of Appeal addresses the timing of an employee’s execution of her employment contract.

Employers have long been advised to ensure that a new employee agrees to and executes his or her written employment contract before starting work. Otherwise, there is a risk that the employment contract will be held to be unenforceable on the basis that there was no “consideration” provided to the employee in exchange for entering … Continue reading

Probation pitfalls and the Employment Standards Act (British Columbia)

Probation is common for new employees.  Probationary periods can provide employers the opportunity to assess new hires in the real work environment.  If an employee is not suitable, the employer may have the opportunity to end the relationship in the early months of employment with little or no liability.  There are a number of potential … Continue reading

What is the latest on employees’ rights in the event of redundancy in France?

Dismissing an employee due to economic difficulties is extremely delicate in France. A law dated 8th August 2016 has specified the definition of the economic grounds for dismissals, providing that economic difficulties are, in particular, characterized by a significant evolution of an indicator such as a significant drop of turnover, a significant drop in purchase … Continue reading

Upon Further Review… Minister of Labour Announces Major Review of Alberta’s Employment and Labour Laws

On March 13, 2017, the Alberta government announced that they would be proceeding with a review of Alberta’s workplace laws, including the Labour Relations Code and the Employment Standards Code. In a public mandate letter addressed to Arbitrator Andrew C.L. Sims, Q.C., the Minister of Labour identified a number of specific considerations that will form part … Continue reading
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