News & Publications

Labour & Employment

Closing the Wage Gap in Ontario?

Written by on March 12, 2018.

In yet another “time for a change” speech, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced last week that the government will take steps to close the wage gap between men and women. The gender-based wage gap has been stagnant for over a decade at about 30% - usually expressed as women earning 70 cents for every dollar earned by men. Bill 203 is titled the “Pay Transparency Act” and, if passed into law, many large employers will have to make further changes to some long-standing policies and...

She’s Having a Baby! What do the New Extended EI Parental Benefits Mean for Employers?

Written by on February 28, 2018.

In March 2017, the federal government announced its intention to extend employment insurance parental benefits to 18 months. This change took 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[1] is up to 15 weeks, whereas t...

Follow the Bouncing Ball: Enforcing Termination Provisions

Written by on February 07, 2018.

Employers need some good news these days, with rising minimum wages, employee-friendly changes to many employment standards, and let’s not even mention the stock market. So I’m happy to share the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Nemeth v. Hatch Ltd. in which a very simple termination provision was upheld. Mr. Nemeth had been employed by Hatch Ltd. for just over 19 years when his employment was terminated without cause. The termination provision in his employment contract sai...

Labour & Employment Group Offers Special Rate to Assess Unionization Risk

Written by on January 29, 2018.

Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 have created a greater risk for unionization in the workplace. Siskinds’ labour and employment group is providing their services at a special set fee to assist organizations in assessing the risk for unionization and how to prepare for handling it, should it occur. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please contact Makenzie Carroll at 519.672.2251 x2377 or by email at makenzie.carroll@s...

Do Employers Have Human Rights Obligations to Former Employees?

Written by on January 29, 2018.

Two sisters from Inuvik Native Bands were employed by White Tornado Cleaning Services, owned by Rhonda Sallows. Their employment ended when they both quit, in response to allegedly being yelled at repeatedly by Ms. Sallows. Ms. Sallows subsequently told the sisters that she was decreasing their pay rate to minimum wage for their last day of work. Her bad judgment continued when she then withheld their last pay. When the sisters sent texts to Ms. Sallows, informing her that they would be fili...

New Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Will Affect Calculation of New Year’s Day Holiday Pay

Written by on January 02, 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone! Effective January 1, 2018, the method used for calculating public holiday pay has changed, meaning that the way employers are required to pay qualifying employees for New Year's Day will be different than the method used for calculating Christmas and Boxing Day pay. Prior to January 1, employers calculated public holiday pay by taking the employee's earnings over the previously worked four weeks and dividing that number by 20. Now, employers must base public holiday ...

The Risks of Cutting Off an Employee’s Insurance Benefits After Termination

Written by on December 29, 2017.

We frequently warn our clients about the significant risks of prematurely cutting off an employee's insurance benefits post-termination. Here is an excellent article from the Globe & Mail explaining the reasons for that advice. If you have any questions regarding this article or any other labour and employment topics, please contact anyone from Siskinds' labour and employment team.  

Bill 148 Poised to Pass Today

Written by on November 22, 2017.

The provincial government went silent throughout much of the fall when Ontarians could expect to have a third reading of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. However, last Thursday, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs adopted significant amendments to Bill 148. News outlets are reporting this morning that Bill 148 is set for its third reading today. A few new additions have been added to the legislation, including changes to parental leave, to extend its du...

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...