News & Publications

Workplace Safety & Insurance

Unproven Complaints Against Employers Could Soon be Released to the Public

Written by on February 07, 2017.

The Toronto Star has recently started a legal challenge that, if successful, may result in human rights, occupational health and safety, and other complaints made against employers being made public, despite the fact that those allegations are unproven. Most hearings today are not handled by the courts but are instead administered by a collection of boards and tribunals established by the province of Ontario. These agencies were created in order to reduce the number of cases heard by the cour...

The Virtual Office: Working From Home Considerations

Written by on July 14, 2016.

With the advancement of technology, employers looking to cut overhead costs, and family and lifestyle accommodations growing, working from home is becoming more and more common. However, there are some considerations that must be explored before such practices are approved. Policies If employers are considering engaging in a telecommuting arrangement, a clear policy should set out the expectations of the employer in terms of: hours of work per day or week how to monitor work product and ...

Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) increases demands on employers in construction sector Certification Applications

Written by on September 24, 2015.

From the “are you kidding me??” file … When employers in the construction sector receive an Application for Certification by a Union, they have two business days to file a Response. You can imagine the whirlwind of activity this creates even if the Application comes to the attention of the right person at the company immediately (it doesn’t always) and if the company already has a relationship with a labour lawyer experienced in construction labour law (many don’t). If no Response...

New SCC Decision Finds Paid Administrative Suspensions Can Trigger Constructive Dismissals

Written by on July 08, 2015.

Most employers are familiar with the most common changes to employment contracts that can trigger a constructive dismissal: changing pay, hours, demotions, duties, work location, etc. However, in the March 2015 decision of Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned two lower court decisions, finding that an 8-week paid administrative suspension constituted sufficient grounds to declare the employment relationship constructively dismissed. The ...

New ESA Poster Requirements for Ontario Employers

Written by on May 04, 2015.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has just released its new version (6.0) of the Employment Standards Poster entitled "Employment Standards in Ontario". Ontario employers must immediately post this new poster in each of its workplaces in a location likely to come to the attention of employees.   It must be displayed in English.  If the majority of the workplace speaks a language other than English and the Ministry has published a version of the poster in that other language, a copy of the tra...

Ontario Court Confirms Workplace Violence Not Automatically Cause for Termination in All Cases

Written by on January 07, 2015.

Since amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act introduced by Bill 168 imposed new obligations to proactively address workplace harassment and violence issues, employers have sometimes been tempted to approach all instances of workplace harassing or violent conduct by an employee as warranting summary dismissal without notice or pay in lieu of notice. These decisions are often made as part of a “zero-tolerance” policy towards workplace violence. Since amendments to the Occupati...

Failing to Address Workplace Health and Safety Concerns Can be Costly for Employers

Written by on August 08, 2014.

Ensuring workplace health and safety is always an important priority for employers, and is even more so now that Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “OHSA”) places obligations on employers with respect to workplace violence and harassment. As a recent case demonstrates, employers should be diligent regarding the development and implementation of their workplace harassment policies, and in responding to employee concerns regarding those policies. The Moneta Marketing Case...

Mind the Gap! – WSIB Coverage for Executives

Written by on March 05, 2012.

There are lots of employers in Ontario who have decided to exclude their executives from WSIB coveragein order to reduce those expensive premiums. The cost-savings can be significant but it is vital to ensure that you have the correct insurance coverage in place to pick up the slack. A recent decision of the Superior Court of Justice underlines the potential costs of making a mistake in this area.1 Sam’s Auto Wrecking (“Sam’s”) operated a scrap metal business. In May, 1998 a tragic...