Ontario Employer Advisor Blog – Quarterly Review

This is our Quarterly Review, highlighting posts on our Ontario Employer Advisor blog. Follow the links to any of these specific posts, or visit the blog at www.ontarioemployerlaw.com where you can sign up to get each new post as it is published. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Cost Orders Under the Ontario Human Rights Code?
By Matthew Demeo on December 20th, 2013

A common complaint we hear from employers who are engaged in proceedings before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal) is that regardless of the merits of the complaint, or the end result, the employer is burdened with the legal costs of successfully defending a complaint. Currently, the Tribunal does not have the explicit power under …

Ontario Government Proposes Major Changes to Workplace Legislation
By Daniel Pugen and Matthew Demeo on December 16th, 2013

On December 4, 2013, the Ontario government introduced Bill 146, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013. Bill 146 implements some of the recommendations made by the Law Reform Commission of Ontario that submitted a report on vulnerable workers. Although the bill has just been introduced, if it passes through the legislature and then receives royal …

Mandatory Health and Safety Training Coming Soon
By Daniel Pugen on December 5th, 2013

The Ontario Government has introduced a regulation to the Occupational Health and Safety Act that would mandate that employers provide health and safety awareness training to all workers and supervisors effective July 1, 2014 ...

McCarthy Tétrault’s Labour Group Issues Timely Advice on Holiday Parties
By Daniel Pugen on November 19th, 2013

Following up on my last winter-related post An Employer’s Obligations During Flu Season, and with the holiday season just around the corner, the Labour & Employment Group at McCarthy Tétrault has just published an important and timely piece on employer responsibilities and potential liability during staff parties and social events. Please click here to …

An Employer’s Obligations During Flu Season
By Daniel Pugen on November 15th, 2013

The weather is getting colder, the holidays are approaching and flu season is soon to be upon us. That means sick employees forced to miss work. Besides ensuring that productivity does not suffer, employers also need to be cognizant of their legal obligations towards their employees during flu season. Here are a few important points to keep …

"Genetic Characteristics" as a Prohibited Ground of Discrimination?
By Daniel Pugen on November 6th, 2013

A recent private member’s bill introduced by a Liberal MPP in the Ontario legislature would add "genetic characteristics" as a prohibited ground of discrimination to the Ontario Human Rights Code. As currently drafted, "genetic characteristics" would be defined as "genetic traits of an individual, including traits that may cause or increase the risk to develop a disorder or …

Be Prepared to Justify Employee Dress Code Policies
By Daniel Pugen on October 29th, 2013

Most people have experience with an employee uniform or dress code policy (mine is "business casual"). There are often very good reasons to have employees look or dress a certain way. It can assist with productivity, promote professionalism and branding, and ensure uniformity. As such, employees' attire/appearance can be a legitimate concern for employers. However, to the extent that a policy has no rational ...

The Ministry of Labour is Coming for Retailers: 5 Common ESA Violations
By Daniel Pugen on October 15th, 2013

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) conducts inspections to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The MOL targets employers in (as they put it) "sectors where there is a history of employment standards violations and where vulnerable workers are employed." Thankfully, at least the MOL announces the targeted sector so that employers can prepare. This time, the target ...