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Published on: 29 Jan 2016 By

Case Law Update: It’s Still Hard to Fire Employees For Cause

A number of our blog entries have discussed the challenges employers face in ending an employment relationship for cause, without having to provide notice beforehand (or pay in lieu of notice). Generally, employees must engage in serious misconduct before being subjected to what the Courts h…

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Published on: 18 Dec 2015 By

Supervisors Increasingly Face Jail Time in Health and Safety Prosecutions

While companies are often aware of the serious costs that may arise from charges under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (the OHSA), recent decisions suggest that the courts are increasingly willing to levy heavy penalties against supervisors as well, including sentencing them to …

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Published on: 2 Dec 2015 By

Proposed Changes to the OHSA: The more things change, the more they stay the same?

Laws intended to change social behaviour are sometimes referred to as “social engineering” legislation.  The obvious example is the Human Rights Code, which prohibits discrimination on protected grounds and requires employers to accommodate many of the personal challenges employees face. Som…

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Published on: 27 Nov 2015 By

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Consulting Regarding New System for Calculating Employer Premiums

Most employers in Ontario are subject to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “WSIA”), with the majority of those employers falling under Schedule 1 of the legislation. For Schedule 1 employers, contact with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the “WSIB”) generally occurs only a…

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Published on: 17 Nov 2015 By

No Jeans or Shorts in the Workplace? No Way.

When an employer attempted to institute a formal dress code requiring its staff to wear business casual attire and prohibiting jeans and shorts in the workplace, the union filed a policy grievance. The employer, the British Columbia Assessment Authority, conducts real property assessments an…

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Published on: 3 Nov 2015 By

Unionized Employee Dismissed from Hydro One for Off-Duty Conduct Reinstated to His Former Position

Last summer a significant amount of media attention was focused on employees being terminated for actions that occurred outside of working hours. One of the most notorious cases involved a unionized Hydro One employee who was dismissed for making vulgar and sexist comments to a television ne…

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Published on: 22 Oct 2015 By

Do employers have to allow their employees to work from home to breastfeed? Flatt v. Treasury Board (Department of Industry)

A female employee with the Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management Operations Branch filed a grievance alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of sex and family status when her employer failed to accommodate her request to work five days a week from home so she could continue …

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Published on: 14 Oct 2015 By

Ontario Labour Relations Board Finds that Employee Fired for Sleeping on the Job is Still Entitled to Termination Pay

Many employers are aware that they can terminate an individual’s employment without notice where there is “cause” (generally acts that fundamentally undermine the employment relationship such as theft, violence in the workplace, etc.). However, employers may not be aware that Ontario’s emplo…

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Published on: 9 Oct 2015 By

Time Off to Vote for Federal Election – October 19, 2015

The Federal election is fast approaching. There are a number of ways for employees to vote, including: In person on Election Day – October 19, 2015 from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm in Ontario. In person on the advance voting days – October 9, 10, 11 and 12, 2015 from noon to 8 pm. In person...

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Published on: 30 Sep 2015 By

The Berenstain Bears; Terminations for Cause; and Parallel Universes

Readers of certain age will recall the Berenstain Bears books – either you read them or they were read to you. I’m often reminded of them when I read decisions where a judge or arbitrator says, in effect, “Little Bear, this is what you should not do!” An example can be found in the recent case...

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