Topic: North America

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COVID-19 Safety Plans vs. Communicable Disease Plans: Have you Caught the Differences?

On July 1, 2021, British Columbia enthusiastically took the next step in its four-step COVID-19 Restart Plan. The transition to Step 3 brought several changes, including the transition for employers to move away from the previously required COVID-19 Safety Plan to the now required Communicable Disease Plan (“CDP”). WorkSafeBC has published detailed guidance for employers … Continue reading

Retrait préventif : la COVID-19 ne constitue pas un contaminant au sens de la LSST

Dans une affaire récente – Piché et Entreprises Y. Bouchard & Fils inc. – le Tribunal administratif du Travail (Tribunal) a rejeté la demande de retrait préventif d’un travailleur en vertu de l’article 32 de la Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (LSST) car il considère que la COVID-19 ne constitue pas … Continue reading

Ontario Divisional Court expands statutory severance pay threshold

In Hawkes v. Max Aicher (North America) Limited, the Ontario Divisional Court held that the calculation of an employer’s payroll for the purposes of determining its severance pay obligations under the Ontario  Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) must include its payroll outside of Ontario and Canada. Background The employee was employed by Max Aicher (North … Continue reading

La Fête nationale et la Fête du Canada : quelles obligations ont les employeurs?

L’approche de la période estivale rime avec l’arrivée des vacances annuelles, mais aussi l’enchaînement de deux jours fériés en l’espace de 8 jours. La Fête nationale (le 24 juin – jour de la St-Jean Baptiste) et la Fête du Canada (le 1er juillet) tombent cette année toutes les deux un jeudi. Afin de dissiper les … Continue reading

US: New HERO Act Imposes Significant Obligations on New York Employers

New York State employers should be aware of a recent law aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases, the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), which imposes significant obligations on covered employers.  Among other things, the HERO Act requires the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) to … Continue reading

US: OSHA Issues COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rule

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a mandatory workplace safety rule requiring employers to take specified steps to protect workers from COVID-19.  However, the rule applies only to health care settings.  Referred to as an emergency temporary standard (ETS), the rule exempts fully vaccinated workers from masking, distancing, and … Continue reading

US: Labor Department Sets Occupational Safety & Health Meeting

The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health will conduct a virtual meeting on June 22, 2021, to address current workplace issues and its prior work.  The details are set forth in today’s U.S. Department of Labor announcement.  The DOL and federal OSHA have been shifting priorities since the initiation of the Biden Administration, … Continue reading

US: Cal/OSHA publishes new standard that causes confusion for California employers

On May 28, 2021, the employer community got its first glimpse of a revised Cal/OSHA emergency, temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19 that may become law by June 15, 2021. That day—June 15—is significant because it is the date the governor set as a goal for California to “fully open its economy.” In addition, the CDC’s … Continue reading

US: OSHA Notices HazCom Hearing

We reported previously on federal OSHA’s efforts to revise and update various provisions of the Hazard Communication Standard in order to pursue greater workplace safety.  On May 20, 2021, OSHA announced an informal public hearing commencing on September 21, 2021 for the purpose of entertaining stakeholder comments and recommendations.  For more information, please see this … Continue reading

COVID-19 vaccination leaves : which provinces require employers to provide paid time off?

Vaccination efforts across the country have ramped up significantly. A number of provinces have recently amended existing legislation to allow employees paid time off to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. We provide you with a brief summary of these legislative amendments. Province Legislation Paid Time Off Other Relevant Information British Columbia s. 52.13 of the Employment … Continue reading

New US federal OSHA pamphlet issued

A new federal OSHA pamphlet has been issued. The OSHA pamphlet, “PPE for Emergency Response and Recovery Workers,” provides guidance to employers on the proper selection and use of and training concerning personal protective equipment in responding to emergencies and other incidents requiring it. Among other advice, OSHA reminds employers of the four levels (A … Continue reading

La réforme de la Loi 101 : avis aux employeurs

Le gouvernement du Québec a déposé hier son projet de loi 96 : Loi sur la langue officielle et commune du Québec, le français qui apporterait, si adopté, des modifications importantes à la Charte de la langue française (Charte) et à plusieurs autres lois. Nous vous résumons les changements les plus significatifs pour les employeurs au … Continue reading

US: DOL issues COBRA premium subsidy guidance and model notices

The US Department of Labor recently published answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and model notices for the new COBRA premium subsidy made available to many employees and their dependents under the American Rescue Plan Act. As explained in an earlier post, the new law allows “assistance eligible individuals” (AEIs) – defined as COBRA qualified  … Continue reading

Employee’s receipt of CERB doesn’t change employer’s obligations

The Ontario Superior Court recently held that a dismissed employee who received Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments immediately following his dismissal should not receive less in wrongful dismissal damages on account of the fact he received the emergency benefit. The decision underscores the point that CERB does not affect an employer’s post-termination obligations. In … Continue reading

Télétravail obligatoire en contexte de pandémie : l’exception demeure les employés dont la présence est essentielle à la poursuite des activités de l’employeur

Dans une décision récente – Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique, section locale 1108 et CHU de Québec – Université Laval (grief syndical), 2021 QCTA 187 – l’arbitre Me Nathalie Faucher a rejeté la demande d’ordonnance de sauvegarde du Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (le Syndicat) visant à forcer le CHU de Québec (l’Employeur) … Continue reading

DOL independent contractor rule withdrawn

Trump-era independent contractor rule withdrawn Effective today, May 6, 2021, the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Trump-era independent contractor rule has been officially withdrawn.  The Trump-era independent contractor rule, which never went into effect due to the change between presidential administrations, would have made it easier for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Trump-era independent … Continue reading

US: Mandatory COVID-19 vaccines and employer health and safety obligations

Federal OSHA has recently released guidance advising on employer health and safety obligations when employers require employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. Specifically, OSHA addresses the potential (albeit rare to date) of an employee who incurs an adverse reaction to a mandated vaccination. In such a situation, the reaction will … Continue reading

US: Why a Mandatory Vaccination Policy May Not Restore Business as Usual for Companies

Throughout the United States, employers are weighing whether to have a mandatory vaccination policy for COVID-19. The objective is to bring employees back to work safely and the understandable desire to return to our pre-pandemic status quo. This post does not advocate in favor or against a mandatory vaccination policy—except to note there may be … Continue reading

US: New York employers must provide paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations

New COVID-19 vaccine paid time off requirement for New York employers New York employers should be aware of a recently enacted New York State law that entitles employees to paid time off from work to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Under this new law, New York employers must grant each employee a sufficient period of time, not … Continue reading

Can COVID-19 be considered a superior force (“force majeure”) lawfully limiting an employer’s obligations?

Since the start of pandemic, our courts have rendered a number of decisions regarding the impact of COVID-19 and whether it constitutes superior force (commonly known as “force majeure” ) for the purposes of limiting liability. In particular, we can think of numerous cases in real estate law, whereby lessees and owners looked to the courts … Continue reading
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