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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law
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    A hospital employee faced complaints of workplace harassment from co-workers, and the hospital imposed discipline on him, including a demotion. The employee's union subsequently filed a grievance with the labour relations board. The hospital retained the services of an independent outside investigator who was also a practicing lawyer. When the union requested access to the investigation report, the hospital claimed solicitor-client privilege, and refused to hand it over...

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    You are an employer that has just received a harassment complaint from an employee. The complaint is against a valued employee who you do not want to lose. But you are also worried that you will be faced with an expensive human rights complaint or lawsuit. What do you do?

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    The Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) recently made an important decision which may represent a significant shift in how it approaches allegations that employers have engaged in reprisals against workers who have filed harassment complaints.

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    Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with unpaid wages, a reprisal claim following an employee’s harassment complaint; and proposed AODA customer service changes.

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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An FAQ that addresses an employee harassment complaint; a case that looks at accommodating an employee with a disability; and a notification regarding upcoming minimum wage increases in British Columbia.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    "Bob is harassing me.” Your spidey senses should be tingling, because some kind of investigation should be taking place soon. If not, consider what happened when an employee at CBC complained about Jian Ghomeshi and was ignored or when an employee at the TO2015 Pan American games complained about David Peterson and her complaint was allegedly not taken seriously. Here are three questions to consider when someone makes a harassment complaint.

    The post OHSA workplace harassment amendments to take effect September 8, 2016: Are you ready? appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: The introduction of Bill C-26 to enhance CPP; head injuries and the related consequences of an employee not reporting such injury as soon as it happens; and a case that addresses workplace investigations and the violation of procedural fairness.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Once upon a time, employees did not sign employment contracts with termination clauses and employment lawyers fought over the appropriate “reasonable” notice period. In 2017, however, employees now claim in addition to wrongful dismissal damages, human rights damages, moral or Wallace damages, punitive damages, and damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress.

    The post Wrongful dismissal update: More kinds of damages being ordered appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Given the elimination of mandatory retirement years ago, employees are working for longer periods of time and well into their 60s and some into their 70s. Age has always been one of the key Bardal factors, in addition to title, length of service and compensation, that courts use to determine an appropriate common law notice period. In the recent case of Ozorio v. Canadian Hearing Society, 2016 ONSC 5440, Justice O’Marra confirmed that an employee’s age remains a significant factor in determining a common law notice period.

    The post Employee’s age justifies wrongful dismissal damages of 24 months appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Canada Revenue Agency form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment; clarification on the definition of "critical injury" in Regulation 834 under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; and the issue of corporate structure and employment standards obligations.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    When an employee is terminated without cause and offered a package that is very modest, but otherwise compliant with the employment contract, a common first step for his or her lawyer will be to see if the contract can be set aside. If the contract can be declared void, the employee can try to pursue the typically much greater common law damages. There are several grounds upon which courts have set aside either the full contract or at the least, the termination provision. This blog post will focus on the issue of signing the contract prior to the start date.

    The post Contract enforceability: Signing the employment contract prior to the start date appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The relationship between employee alcohol use and work is complex. In Ontario, there are specific legal obligations which apply, and employers must exercise caution. Without a proper understanding of their legal obligations, employers face a minefield which may unwittingly result in unwanted liability.

    The post Business and booze: Dealing with alcohol in the workplace appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    A recent BC Supreme Court decision finding a fast food employee was wrongfully dismissed and entitled to aggravated damages has been making newspaper headlines across the country. Ms. Ram had worked as a cook in various Burger King locations for 24 years, and was terminated for just cause after taking home a fish sandwich, fries and a drink at the end of her shift without paying for them. Ms. Ram's claim was heard over a seven day trial, resulting in a lengthy decision.

    The post Fast food firing leads to aggravated damages appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Many employers find it necessary to assess new employees’ performance on the job before making a final determination about whether an individual is suitable for a position. In the absence of an express term in an employment contract, employees in Canada are entitled to reasonable notice of termination at common law when they are dismissed without just cause. Many employers put terms in their employment contracts, such as probationary clauses, which limit this entitlement. However, employers may not always be clear on the implications of such clauses.

    The post Probationary clauses: A double-edged sword for employers appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.

    The post Family status: The employee’s obligation under “the Code” appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee who was dismissed for not submitting a doctor's note in a timely fashion; a firefighter who was reinstated after being dismissed for sexually harassing a co–worker; and human rights claims, made by a former employee, that were barred by terms of a final release received on termination.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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  • 03/23/17--14:14: Federal Budget 2017-18
  • On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government's Federal Budget 2017, Building a Strong Middle Class, which includes various measures affecting payroll, and an abundant amount of measures that would be of interest to employers, including the extension of maternity leave to 18 months, the electronic distribution of T4 information slips, and the elimination of various tax credits.

    The post Federal Budget 2017-18 appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    With home repairs, there is risk in DIY. Similarly, employment agreements require the input of an expert. If you’re not an employment lawyer, don’t try this (i.e. drafting or revising an employment agreement) at home.

    The post Home renos and employment agreements: How employers can avoid the money pit appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    With news almost every week of another marijuana dispensary raided by the police, Ontarian’s have asked, can the Ministry of Labour enforce employment standards (i.e. notice of termination, overtime, etc.) in favour of individuals who work at these criminal enterprises? In short, yes. There is simply no exemption in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) which exempts […]

    The post Are employees of a marijuana dispensary protected by employment standards? appeared first on First Reference Talks.