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Sexual harassment settlements (and attorneys’ fees) may no longer be tax deductible for employers

As a result of the new tax reform legislation, employers may no longer deduct on their tax returns any “settlement or payment related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement” (emphasis added) or any “attorney’s fees related to such a settlement or payment.” This change … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148 Amendments and Public Holidays: What Else Has Changed?

Under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) Ontario has nine public holidays: New Year’s Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (December 26).   Nothing in Bill 148 has changed that. Likewise, an employee who would otherwise be eligible to take the public holiday … Continue reading

New Version 7.0 of Ontario Employment Standards Poster Now Available

The Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) is a key employment law statute setting certain minimum terms and conditions of employment applicable to most employees in Ontario. Employers covered by the ESA are required to post “the most recent version” of the Ontario Ministry of Labour poster about rights and obligations under the ESA … Continue reading

Who, me? Could be: SCC extends protections regarding employment under the BC Human Rights Code

In a landmark case, the Supreme Court of Canada has extended the protection it offers to employees from discrimination in the workplace to encompass discrimination perpetrated by an individual with a different employer: British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Schrenk, 2017 SCC 62. This case answers in the affirmative the question of whether the BC … Continue reading

Collective agreements may prevail over some Bill 148 scheduling provisions

Those of you who have been following this series of blogs will know that Bill 148 ESA amendments generally apply to unionized workplaces as of the effective date of the particular amendment.  There are a few limited exceptions, however. In yesterday’s post, we addressed how employers with unionized employees may find temporary relief from the … Continue reading

“Equal pay for equal work” provisions in a collective agreement may prevail over Bill 148 ESA amendments

As we explained in yesterday’s post, the Bill 148 amendments to the ESA minimum standards will generally apply to unionized workplaces as of the effective date of the particular amendment. However, there are two circumstances in which a collective agreement provision in effect on April 1, 2018 will temporarily prevail over certain Bill 148 amendments … Continue reading

On the Job + On the Grid: Monitoring Employees

There are many varied and valid reasons as to why employers incorporate monitoring in the workplace.  Whether it is the more widespread video surveillance cameras installed in many convenience stores or the seemingly nefarious GPS tracking in employees’ phones, employers can effectively monitor their workplaces without running afoul of their privacy obligations. With the widespread … Continue reading

Bill C-44 coming into force

The Governor General in Council has announced that the sweeping changes to the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”), which affects federally regulated employees will come into force on December 3, 2017.  The coming into force completes the amendments that were announced in Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, after it received Royal … Continue reading

Where should an employment dispute be litigated when an employer’s business and an employee’s residence are located in different jurisdictions?

Where an employer hires an employee who resides in a different jurisdiction, the jurisdiction in which an employment dispute is litigated depends largely on where the employer carries on business. In Koutros v. Persico USA, 2017 ONSC 3001, the employer, Persico USA Inc. (“Persico”) terminated the employment of Savvas Koutros, who was a General Manager … Continue reading

Refresh your feed: Updated Guidance on Social Media Background Checks

Social media is ubiquitous.  Over 20 million Canadians have a social medial account. It is a major source of information about our friends and the world around us.  It is also an important vehicle for recruiting and background information. Employers will often have good reason to formally check an applicant’s social media profile in the … Continue reading

Ontario Government Conducting Mining Industry Inspection Blitz

From October 2, 2017 to November 30, 2017, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) will be conducting workplace inspection blitzes in mines and mining plants. In recognition of the fact that October is Global Ergonomics Month, these blitzes will focus on workplace measures relating to musculoskeletal disorders (“MSDs”). However, inspectors will also be assessing the risk … Continue reading

Local doesn’t make the grade: The need to accommodate employees with anxiety when writing qualifying exams

John Betts, (the “Applicant”) was a carpenter and member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 1256 (the “Union”). While the parties were not engaged in a traditional employer-employee relationship, the Applicant was protected from discrimination by the employment related sanctions of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”). Like most … Continue reading

Proposed amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code include new prohibited grounds of discrimination

On October 4, 2017 Bill 164, The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017 was introduced into the Ontario Legislative Assembly and passed First Reading the same day. If enacted, it would expand the prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) to include immigration status; genetic characteristics; police records; and social … Continue reading

Working Notice Not Appropriate for Medical Leaves of Absence

In McLeod v. 1274458 Ontario Inc. (“McLeod”), the Ontario Superior Court confirmed that working notice is not appropriate when an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence for medical reasons. Generally, providing working notice allows employers to avoid having to provide pay in lieu of notice. Instead, employees are given advance notice of their … Continue reading

Termination and Flawed Performance Management Leads to Aggravated Damages Award

Performance management is always a challenge for employers.  Termination for cause on the basis of poor performance is trickier.  The recent decision of Cottrill v. Utopia Day Spas and Salons Ltd., 2017 BCSC 704 (“Cottrill”) is a good reminder of the importance of proactive and proper performance management, especially for underperforming employees. Ms. Cottrill was … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148, as amended, cuts back on proposals authorizing the Board to review the structure of bargaining units

  Ontario is one of a few Canadian jurisdictions that does not give its labour board the general authority to review, consolidate and otherwise amend bargaining units.  In the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, the special advisors recommended giving the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“Board”) the power to modify bargaining unit structures, if the Board … Continue reading

Proposed amendments to Ontario Bill 148 address security and confidentiality of employee lists disclosed during union campaigns 

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (Bill 148), introduced on June 1, 2017, proposed adding a new section 6.1 to provisions in the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) that address union campaigns to establish bargaining rights.  Headed “Establishment of Bargaining Rights by Certification”, the new section (which does not apply to the construction … Continue reading

Amendments to the Ontario Bill 148 include new entitlement to Domestic or Sexual Violence Leave

The version of Ontario Bill 148 introduced by Premier Wynne and Labour Minister Flynn in June included significant changes to the personal emergency leave (“PEL”) entitlement under the current Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”).  It eliminated the 50+ employee eligibility threshold, entitling all employees to 2 paid and 8 unpaid PEL days each calendar year.  … Continue reading

Update on Ontario Bill 148: Amendments to “equal pay for equal work” provisions provide some guidance for employers 

The Employment Standards Act, 2000 contemplates equal pay between the sexes. As we reported in June, Ontario Bill 148 proposes adding “new equal pay for equal work” provisions that mandate paying casual, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees be paid the at the same rate as regular full-time employees who perform the same job for the … Continue reading

“Scheduling” provisions amended as the Ontario Bill 148 advances to Second Reading

  Scheduling of work under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) is one of several sections in Bill 148 affected by recent amendments. Currently, the ESA does not regulate an employer’s right to schedule work, aside from providing that an employee who attends a scheduled shift must receive at least three hours’ pay, even if … Continue reading
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