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Published on: 29 Jun 2016 By

“MEAN GIRLS”: Bill 132 and the OHSA

It has been six years since Bill 168 amended Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act to require employers to take steps to prevent and to deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace. Since that time, we have come to realize that there were gaps – some would say flaws – in the …

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Published on: 17 Jun 2016 By

The importance of properly conducting workplace investigations

If not done properly, conducting a workplace investigation can be costly. This lesson was learned by the Royal Bank of Canada in Lau v. Royal Bank of Canada[1]. Mr. Lau was an account manager at one of RBC’s Vancouver branches. A customer of Mr. Lau’s filed a complaint about the manner in wh…

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Published on: 13 Jun 2016 By

“Comfortably Numb”: Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Traditionally, Canadian courts and arbitrators have upheld discipline against employees who have disobeyed company policies by using or possessing marijuana[1] on company premises. There has generally been no need for the employee to have engaged in dangerous conduct, so long as the employee…

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Published on: 6 Jun 2016 By

Don’t FALL into trouble with the Ministry of Labour this summer!

It’s summer and the livin’ may be easy if you’re on vacation. But if you’re at work, you’d better be working safely! The Ministry of Labour is running a blitz from May 16th until July 15th, focusing attention on falls from height. They’ve warned us that they “will be taking a no tolerance in…

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Published on: 27 May 2016 By

Double Jeopardy Also Applies to Employee Discipline

I recently came across the Ontario decision of Garreton v. Complete Innovations Inc.[1] from earlier this year. While an interesting read for a number of employment reasons, it is a good reminder to employers that “double jeopardy” also applies to employee discipline. The relevant facts in t…

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Published on: 5 May 2016 By

Recent Case Highlights Importance of Severability Clauses in Employment Agreements

Most employers want simple, friendly hiring documents that are easy to understand and don’t look like they were drafted by lawyers. Trust me – I get it! To achieve this goal, employers sometimes want to remove important legal clauses from their offer letters or employment agreements. Most co…

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Published on: 22 Mar 2016 By

A reminder: Employees Have Obligations, Too

You probably know that employers are required to accommodate a disability to the point of undue hardship. If you’ve ever been involved in a situation requiring accommodation, you probably also know that “undue hardship” is a very high standard. So it’s good to hear about arbitrators who also…

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Published on: 21 Mar 2016 By

The Duty To Accommodate Does Not Require an Employer to Turn Customers Away

A Store Manager for a leather company injured her wrist. Ultimately, the store terminated her position, prompting a human rights application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. As part of this application, the employee argued that the accommodation process required: the employer continue t…

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Published on: 29 Feb 2016 By

Alberta Court of Appeal Upholds Termination of Employee for Cocaine Use That Resulted in Workplace Accident

As most employers know, the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of, among other things, “disability”. While the Code’s definition of disability does not specifically include drug or alcohol addiction, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed over 16 year…

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