News & Publications

Labour & Employment

Concerned About Bill 148? Have Your Say By This Friday

Written by on July 18, 2017.

Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs’ tour of Ontario hit London to hear from the public on the changes to labour and employment legislation proposed in Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Throughout the day, the Committee considered oral presentations from nineteen parties, the majority of whom spoke on behalf of unions, community services, and the farm and food processing sector, and expressed concerns from an employee perspective. The full agen...

Public Hearings Regarding the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, in London on July 17

Written by on July 11, 2017.

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, is currently working its way through the Ontario legislature and, if passed into law, would impose many new obligations on employers. For more details on those changes, please see our previous blog posts on the subject. Bill 148 is in the “committee stage” of the legislative process, and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is currently holding public consultations to receive input on the proposed legislation. Hear...

Up in Smoke: An Update on Marijuana in the Workplace

Written by on July 05, 2017.

We are often asked to comment on what effect the proposed legalization of marijuana is likely to have on workplaces. As I noted last year, many employers already have experience with marijuana-related workplace issues, given that the drug has been used for medical purposes for some time. However, the legalization and resulting-wide spread availability of marijuana will almost certainly create more opportunities for it to enter into the workplace. Is It Legal Yet? No. On April 13, 2017, ...

Indecent Proposal? Whether and How to Ask Existing Employees to Sign New Employment Contracts

Written by on June 19, 2017.

Asking existing employees to sign new employment contracts can be a sensitive topic.  Employees will undoubtedly wonder why they are being asked to do so.  Many will quite rightly assume that the employer’s main motive for having new contracts be signed is to protect the employer – not the employee.   Some will sign without issue, while others will refuse to do so.  Others may sign reluctantly, and perhaps feel some ongoing resentment towards the employer for being asked to do so.  Emp...

The Changing Workplaces Review Final Report: Permanency and Equality for Temporary Help Workers

Written by on May 30, 2017.

Along with franchisors and unionized employers, the recommendations made in the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report could signal change for temporary help agencies, the individuals they employ (“assignment workers”), and the businesses who use these services to staff their operations (“client employers”). With the view that assignment employees are among “the most vulnerable and precarious in the workplace,” the review focused its policy objectives and recommendations for temp...

Hot Off the Press – Changing Workplaces Final Report Released

Written by on May 24, 2017.

Ontario Ministry of Labour Kevin Flynn released the Final Report of The Changing Workplaces Review yesterday. This 419-page report contains 173 recommendations that, if implemented, could have far-reaching implications on Ontario workplaces.  In terms of changes to basic employment standards, some of the highlights of the recommendations include: Part-time, casual, temporary, seasonal and contract employees be paid at least as much as comparable full-time employees with the same employe...

Unionizing Franchise Locations Could Become Easier Under Proposed Changes to Ontario Law

Written by on May 24, 2017.

The Ontario Changing Workplaces Review has now issued its Final Report, and there’s good news and bad news for franchisors. First, the good news: as we outlined in February, there were concerns that the Final Report would call for expanding the situations where franchisors would be considered the employers of a franchisee’s employees under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). However, the panel has chosen not to recommend any substantive changes to the “related em...

Change is gonna come: The Changing Workplaces Review Final Report

Written by on May 24, 2017.

More than two years after Ontario’s Minister of Labour initiated it, the Changing Workplaces Review has issued its final report.  And depending on how (or if) the current Liberal government chooses to implement its 173 recommendations, employment in the province could look quite different a year from now.  As the authors describe their work: These changes would benefit workers directly, and employers and society in general.  Employees will benefit from a better workplace and an enhanced ab...

Court Allows Employer to Continue Random Drug Testing over Union’s Legal Objections

Written by on May 23, 2017.

Unionized employers often face resistance when attempting to introduce drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. This is particularly true where the testing is going to be carried out at random. Employers who introduce these types of testing policies often face policy grievances challenging both the legality of the policy itself, and the employer’s right to introduce it. However, random drug and alcohol testing in “safety sensitive” workplaces can be a valuable tool to ensure both the ...

International Women’s Day

Written by on March 08, 2017.

Are you experiencing an abnormally high level of absenteeism among female employees today?  If so, here’s a great article featuring advice from some of our most respected employment law colleagues: