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Oct 15, 2015
Ontario Government Seeking Public Input on Closing the Gender Wage Gap

The Ontario Ministry of Labour announced last week that it is seeking public input on closing the gender wage gap in Ontario. According to Statistics Canada, the gender wage gap in this province ranges from 12 – 31.5% and is most pronounced for aboriginal and racialized women as well as women with disabilities.

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New Report on Mental Health and Addiction Highlights Challenges for Ontario Employers and Employees

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (the “OHRC”) has recently published a report on people with mental health and addiction disabilities in the province.  The report examines many different obstacles faced by such individuals but the section of the report dealing with the labour force is of particular note to Ontario employers.  First, many readers may be surprised by the prevalence of mental health and addiction disabilities in the workforce.  The report states that approximately 5% of Ontarians over the age of 15 currently identify themselves as having a mental health or addiction-based disability.  The report also notes that a staggering 90.5% of all individuals who have mental health or addiction disabilities also have another, concurrent form of disability.  The presence of multiple, overlapping disabilities certainly adds complexity to the accommodation process.

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Update on the Ontario Government's Special Committee on Sexual Harassment

In November of 2014 we reported on Premier Wynne’s announcement that the Government of Ontario would be striking a special committee to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the prevention of sexual violence and harassment in Ontario workplaces (the “Select Committee”). The Select Committee’s mandate was also to advise on how best to improve responses to people who have experienced sexual violence and harassment and to present recommendations on how to remove social and other barriers that prevent people from coming forward to report sexual harassment and violence. 

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Is This What to Expect During an Employment Standards Inspection?

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has posted a video it calls, “What to Expect During an Employment Standards Inspection”.  The video, which is just over 5 minutes long, depicts a friendly and orderly process in which the employer is given ten days of advance notice of the inspection and has an opportunity to ask the Employment Standards Officer questions about what its obligations are under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”).  The video states that such inspections are typically prompted by third party information or local intelligence received by the Ministry of Labour or are simply random site visits.  The video does not explicitly state that inspections can be initiated in connection with employee complaints but perhaps that is what is meant by “local intelligence”.

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Aug 21, 2015
Does the Charter Trump Human Rights?

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal has interesting implications when it comes to competing rights, particularly when some of those rights are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Reminder: Ontario’s Minimum Wage to Increase

As a result of amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) last year, on October 1, 2015, the general minimum wage in Ontario will increase from $11 to $11.25 per hour. Industry-specific minimum wages for liquor servers, homeworkers, students, and hunters/fishers are also set increase.

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