News & Publications

Labour & Employment

A Costly Lesson in How Not to Conduct a Workplace Harassment Investigation

Written by on November 14, 2017.

It seems that everywhere we look these days, sexual harassment is on the radar – whether in Hollywood, the CBC or in our own workplaces. Recent changes to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act now require investigations to be conducted by employers into all incidents or complaints of harassment. In a decision released by the Ontario Court of Appeal in October of this year, an employer received a costly lesson on ignoring claims of workplace harassment and conducting an inept harassmen...

What do the New Extended EI Parental Benefits Mean for Employers? Are you Ready for December 3rd?

Written by on November 10, 2017.

She's having a baby! In March 2017, the federal government announced its intention to extend employment insurance parental benefits to 18 months. This change takes effect on December 3, 2017. While many Canadian employers are not thrilled with this change, it's not all bad news. Same Total Maximum EI Benefits Parents currently receive up to 50 weeks of employment insurance benefits when they take time off work because of pregnancy, childbirth or adoption. The maternity benefit - paid...

Federal Government Releases Report on Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace

Written by on November 06, 2017.

Recently, the federal government released the results of a year-long series of consultations with unions, employer organizations, federal government departments and agencies, academics, and advocacy groups on the subject of workplace harassment and violence. The consultation process also involved a public online survey, with over 1200 respondents providing information. The Report, titled “Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace Public Consultations: What We Heard”, includes anecdo...

Upcoming AODA Deadlines and Workplace Related Requirements to Date

Written by on November 01, 2017.

As the end of the year approaches, and with it the deadline for many businesses to file their Accessibility Compliance Report, it seems as good a time as any to review the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “AODA”) and confirm your organization’s compliance. More on that in a minute. Assuming your business is totally up to date on your AODA obligations, don’t forget that two more deadlines are coming up: By December 31, 2017, all larger organizations (20+ empl...

Just Cause: All’s Well That Ends Well, But in the Meantime…

Written by on August 23, 2017.

It’s not news to readers of this blog that proving just cause for the dismissal of an employee is a high hurdle. Our clients also know that we usually recommend the continuation of a dismissed employee’s group benefits during negotiations post-dismissal.  Now there’s a case to highlight the important connection between these two principles. Remy Fernandes was a teacher at Mississauga Private School for 10 years, but not a good one. At trial, the judge found that Mr. Fernandes had: deli...

Law for the 21st Century

Written by on August 01, 2017.

Click here to check out the Labour & Employment Group's associates featured in the current edition of Venture Magazine!  

Frustration of Employment Contract: What to Consider Before Throwing in the Towel

Written by on July 31, 2017.

Like any contract, an employment contract can be “frustrated” when continued performance of the contract becomes impossible or would be radically different because of a dramatic change in circumstances. Employers typically raise frustration of contract to formally end the employment relationship with employees who have been away from work for a long time and are unlikely to return. The most common reason an employee is unable to return to work and, therefore, where frustration of contract...

Concerned About Bill 148? Have Your Say By This Friday

Written by on July 18, 2017.

Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs’ tour of Ontario hit London to hear from the public on the changes to labour and employment legislation proposed in Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Throughout the day, the Committee considered oral presentations from nineteen parties, the majority of whom spoke on behalf of unions, community services, and the farm and food processing sector, and expressed concerns from an employee perspective. The full agen...

Public Hearings Regarding the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, in London on July 17

Written by on July 11, 2017.

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, is currently working its way through the Ontario legislature and, if passed into law, would impose many new obligations on employers. For more details on those changes, please see our previous blog posts on the subject. Bill 148 is in the “committee stage” of the legislative process, and the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs is currently holding public consultations to receive input on the proposed legislation. Hear...

Up in Smoke: An Update on Marijuana in the Workplace

Written by on July 05, 2017.

We are often asked to comment on what effect the proposed legalization of marijuana is likely to have on workplaces. As I noted last year, many employers already have experience with marijuana-related workplace issues, given that the drug has been used for medical purposes for some time. However, the legalization and resulting-wide spread availability of marijuana will almost certainly create more opportunities for it to enter into the workplace. Is It Legal Yet? No. On April 13, 2017, ...