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.

Ontario Human Rights Commission Releases New Policy on Mental Health Disabilities and Addictions
By Benjamin Aberant on June 24th, 2014

On April 16th, we reported on a new policy published by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission) entitled Policy on Preventing Discrimination Because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression. Last week, the Commission published a new policy entitled the Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions. This new policy was …

Wal-Mart (Still) Pays High Price for Failing to Investigate Employee’s Complaint
By Meaghan McWhinnie on June 9th, 2014

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., 2014 ONCA 419, is an important reminder to employers that failing to properly investigate allegations of harassment in the workplace can be incredibly costly. Facts Ms. Boucher was an Assistant Manager of a Wal-Mart retail location. After she refused to falsify a log book, the …

From the Desk of the HR Manager, May 2014 – Psychological Health in the Workplace
By Melissa Kennedy on May 28th, 2014

Melissa Kennedy is a labour relations, employment and human resources specialist who assists clients with proactively managing compliance, risk and ensuring best practices are in place. The Canadian Mental Health Association recognizes May 5th through 11th each year as Mental Health Week in Canada. The impact of psychological illness in the workplace is becoming increasingly …

"Men’s Day" Customer Appreciation Event Discriminatory
By Daniel Pugen and Meaghan McWhinnie on May 21st, 2014

In McConaghie v. Systemgroup Consulting Inc., 2014 HRTO 295, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (HRTO) found that an employer discriminated against a female employee on the basis of sex by sponsoring a customer appreciation event that was for men only. The HRTO also found that the employer retaliated against the employee after she complained about …

Family Status and Childcare Obligations – The Federal Court of Appeal Weighs In
By Kate McNeill-Keller on May 15th, 2014

On May 2, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) rendered its decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone (Johnstone), along with its decision of an appeal in a similar case called Canadian National Railway v. Seeley (Seeley). A full e-alert with our discussion of these cases and the implications for employers can be found here. Both …

Ontario Adds Three New Job-Protected Leaves for Families
By Matthew Demeo on May 5th, 2014

On April 29, 2014, Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2014, received Royal Assent and is set to come into force October 29, 2014. With the passing of this bill, employees in Ontario are now entitled to three new job-protected leaves (in addition to any entitlement to any other leave under …

From the Desk of the HR Manager: Spring Cleaning – Performing an HR Audit
By Melissa Kennedy on May 2nd, 2014

As spring is upon us, it is an appropriate time of the year for an organization to perform an audit of its human resources process. HR audits ensure regulatory and organizational policy compliance, while proactively pursuing internal efficiencies and excellence. Regular and systematic audits demonstrate due-diligence to regulatory bodies (e.g. Ministry of Labour) and promote …

Ministry of Labour Announces Enforcement Blitz to Target Unpaid Internships
By Meaghan McWhinnie on April 24th, 2014

The Walrus and Toronto Life, two high profile Canadian magazines, recently shut down their internship programs after a Ministry of Labour investigation concluded that the programs contravened the Ontario Employment Standards Act. The Ministry issued compliance orders for violations of several standards, including a failure to pay the interns minimum wage. Canadian Geographic …

Ontario Human Rights Commission Releases New Policy on Gender Identity and Gender Expression
By Benjamin Aberant on April 16th, 2014

On April 15, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (the Commission) published a new comprehensive policy entitled Policy on preventing discrimination because of Gender Identity and Gender Expression. According to the Commission, the policy is a complete revision and update of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC’s) original Policy on discrimination and harassment because of gender identity …