Labour & Employment Blog

Unionized Ontario Employers Face Double Jeopardy in Human Rights Cases

Written by on February 09, 2017.

Unionized employers regularly deal with employees alleging breaches of their human rights. These allegations can be the subject of the grievance process or an application to the province’s forum for hearings into human rights cases. In Ontario, the forum is the Human Rights Tribunal; in Manitoba, it is the Human Rights Commission. You’ll see that I underlined the word “or” in the last paragraph. It seems reasonable that an employer should only be required to answer these allegations i...

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...

Changes to Emergency Leave Requirements in the Auto Industry

Written by on January 31, 2017.

The final report from Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review is expected any day now, but in a taste of what’s to come, some changes are already being implemented. Since 2004, s. 50 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) has required employers with more than 50 employees to provide 10 unpaid emergency leave days annually. These days are available to employees who experience personal illness, injury, medical emergency or other urgent matter, or where a member of the employee’s c...

Accessibility Obligations for Employers with Under 50 Employees

Written by on January 26, 2017.

Effective January 1, 2017 there are new accessibility standards for employers with under 50 employees. Larger non-public employers with more than 50 employees were required to implement new employment standards and communications obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) last January. The time has come for those same obligations to now be met by non-public Ontario organizations with at least one but less than 50 employees. As of January 1, 2017, ...

Ontario Labour Relations Board Seeks Submissions on Possible Elimination of “White Areas”

Written by on January 16, 2017.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “OLRB”) is considering revamping how it geographically organizes construction bargaining units in Northern Ontario, and is seeking submissions from the public. Since 1980, the OLRB has consistently recognized bargaining units in the construction sector within 32 pre-defined zones called “Board Areas”. For example, some construction employers operating in London are bound to a union for work in Board Area 3, which encompasses the counties of Oxfo...