Tag archives: employee benefits

Bit-wise operations: paying employees in Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are very much “in vogue”. “Currencies” like bitcoin are maintained by computer-based algorithms, rather than the government or a central bank. They are so popular  that it’s been reported on in the past that employees have been rejecting Canadian dollar salaries for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. That said, there are not … Continue reading

Employer tagged for misrepresenting criteria for coverage under LTD policy

In January 2016, the Supreme Court of British Columbia released its decision in Feldstein v 364 Northern Development Corporation, 2016 BCSC 108. The employee in that case suffered from cystic fibrosis, a chronic, degenerative disease primarily affecting the lungs, since the age of nine. The employee stated that given his condition, he would not have … Continue reading

Practical Implications of Bhasin: Good Faith in Exercising Discretionary Power

Since Bhasin v Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, courts have been applying  the “organizing principle” of good faith in all contractual relationships thereby delinating its scope in different cirucmstances. One recent decision applying this principle addressess the circumstances where an employer excercises a discretionary contractual right to effectively deny an employee his compensation under a benefits … Continue reading

Highest court to revisit birth control coverage under ACA

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the United States’ controversial health care coverage act, requires group health plans and insurers to cover preventive care and screenings for women. Under the related regulations, this coverage includes government-approved contraceptive methods, but the group health plan of a religious employer may be exempt from providing such coverage or … Continue reading

“I forgot my Doctor’s Note” – Timeliness of Medical Excuses for Workplace Absences

When does an employee have to provide a Doctor’s note to excuse a workplace absence? After the absence, during or before? A recent labour arbitration case provides some guidance: According to a provision in the collective agreement in this case, an employee could be fired if he or she was absent for more than three … Continue reading

What are the employment implications of the transfer of a business in the US?

When a buyer acquires the assets of another company, both the buyer and the seller must focus on federal and state laws in the United States which impact on employees who transition on the sale of the business.  For example, if a sufficient number of employees are affected, the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act … Continue reading

Ontario Ministry of Labour targets unpaid internships in its latest blitz

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) recently announced that it is undertaking an enforcement blitz focusing on unpaid internships. Between now and December 31, 2015, employment standards officers from the MOL will be visiting workplaces that have internship programs to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA” or “the Act”). In particular, the … Continue reading

Notice Entitlements under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

When a company files for bankruptcy, employees are faced with uncertainty on a number of issues. Everything from outstanding wages to benefit entitlements are suddenly at risk. Further, when a company becomes insolvent, employees are often laid off in circumstances that fail to satisfy statutory or common law notice period entitlements. However, under the Bankruptcy … Continue reading

New executive order issued requiring federal contractors to offer employees paid sick leave

As he heads into the final year of his presidency, and in the face of continued Congressional impasse, President Obama continues to exercise his executive authority to issue directives targeting the federal contractor workforce. A new executive order requires that federal contractors offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave.  Eligible employees will … Continue reading

Paid sick days law in California is amended

The California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (“the Act”) went into effect on January 1, 2015, but its key accrual and use provisions became effective on July 1. On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 304, amending California’s Sick Leave law to make immediate changes. Those amendments state: Employers may … Continue reading

NLRB passes on football players’ employee status

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined to assert jurisdiction to determine whether the Northwestern University (Northwestern) scholarship football players should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In April, we reported that the Regional Director of Region 13 of the NLRB found that scholarship football players from … Continue reading

What same-sex marriage means for employers

In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the equal protection guarantee provided by the Fourteenth Amendment to opposite-sex marriages extends to same-sex marriages. The opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, holds that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States” and that … Continue reading

Now streaming: happy new parents – tech employers set a high bar with paid parental leave

Tech industry giants Netflix and Microsoft this week have announced new generous and flexible parental leave policies as an incentive to attract and retain skilled employees in a highly competitive industry. Earlier this week, Netflix introduced an “unlimited” leave policy for new parents to take as much time as they want – with pay — … Continue reading

Ontario Civic Holiday: The holiday that isn’t..

The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not … Continue reading

Canada Day Reminder: New holiday rules under the Canada Labour Code

With Canada Day fast approaching, it is an opportune time to remind employers within the federal jurisdiction of the new requirements under the Canada Labour Code for the calculation of general holiday pay. Changes to the “general holidays” provisions under the Canada Labour Code and the Canada Labour Standards Regulations came into force on March … Continue reading

Uber drivers found to be employees in California: Canadian provinces to follow?

A recent decision from the California Labour Commission (the Commission) has held that drivers from the popular Uber service are employees and not independent contractors. This decision has sparked public interest as its implications could bring trouble for the successful mobile-based start-up. In coming down on the side of the drivers, the Commission concluded that … Continue reading

Coverage for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) broadened in Manitoba

The Manitoba government is introducing new amendments to the Workers Compensation Act that would make it easier for employees to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recognized as a work-related occupational disease. The legislation does that by creating the presumption that workers suffering from PTSD received the illness from the job, if diagnosed by a medical … Continue reading

Clear language trumps fairness: Be clear in collective agreements to avoid double dipping

A 7 year battle over a day of paid personal leave has finally reached a conclusion. The dispute centred around the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement governing a unionized employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). The employee, during the span of one fiscal year, moved from one position within the Agency to another. … Continue reading

Employers must provide Family Medical Leave Act benefits to same-sex married couples starting March 27, 2015

On March 27, 2015, employers must provide FMLA benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. What is the FMLA? The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. More specifically, eligible employees may take … Continue reading

Conciliation travail-famille – endeavour to achieve a work life balance in Quebec

In Quebec, time devoted to paid work has considerably increased over the years. Moreover, the number of single-parent families and households where both spouses work is growing. Consequently, we are left with an increasing imbalance between work and family obligations. Quebec is no exception to this rule. Indeed, the Bureau de Normalisation du Québec (BNQ) … Continue reading

A Shake-Up for Franchisors: NLRB issues 43 unfair labor practice complaints against McDonald’s

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has authorized Regional Counsel in regional offices throughout the United States to issue 43 unfair labor practice complaints in cases involving claims that McDonald’s USA and its franchisees are “joint employers” and jointly liable. These cases involve claims by workers at franchisee-owned restaurants that they were … Continue reading

Employees’ right to holidays in France

Under French law, all employees are granted a right to paid annual leave, which consists of a statutory minimum number of days subject to any more favourable provisions applicable under any collective bargaining agreement to which the employer (or the sector of business in which the employee is active) is party, the employer’s internal practices … Continue reading
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