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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 al…

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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 the within human rights application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. As part of this application, the employee argued that the accommodation process required: the employer c…

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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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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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