Topic: North America

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Norton Rose Fulbright’s online guide to global employment law is now available

More and more organisations are growing their global footprint and need to move their people around the world. In this global environment, it is essential to know, understand and comply with employment and labour laws in place across all of the jurisdictions in which organisations engage people. This will help to protect business from unnecessary … Continue reading

The never-ending search for fairness in a termination clause

Over the course of this past year there have been several important decisions dealing with the enforceability of termination clauses in employment agreements, and how a court is to interpret a clause to determine the employer’s obligations to a departing employee.  The importance of these decisions can be seen by contrasting the financial consequences that … Continue reading

Ontario Bill 148 reform and public holidays: a reminder

Since Ontario Family Day is coming on February 19, please take another look at our posts explaining how Bill 148 amended the public holiday provisions in the Ontario Employment Standards Act. As you may recall, there is a new formula for calculating public holiday pay, plus additional employer obligations when an employee works on a … Continue reading

Legislative changes under Ontario Bill 177

The effect of the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017 (“Bill 177”), which received royal assent on December 14, 2017, is far reaching as it introduces changes to a number of statutes. The Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”), the Broader Public Sector Executive Compensation Act (“BPSECA”), the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) and the … Continue reading

Harassment and violence in the workplace : changes to be expected for federally regulated employers

After a few politicians at the federal and provincial levels recently stepped down because of sexual misconduct allegations, lawmakers debated Bill C-65 in the House of Commons this week. Tabled in November 2017, Bill C-65 aims to amend “the Canada Labour Code (CLC) to strengthen the existing framework for preventing harassment and violence, including sexual harassment … Continue reading

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

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

“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
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