With legalization on Ontario’s doorstep, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has issued a new policy discussing the impact of legal cannabis on human rights issues in the province. The policy document correctly notes that the legalization of cannabis does not change how employers must respond to impairment and addiction at work but it does highlight the rights of employees with scent sensitivities to be protected from cannabis smoke or vapours in the workplace, which is an area of concern that we expect our clients will hear more about as recreational cannabis use becomes more common.
Helpfully, the policy also specifically acknowledges that employers have no obligation to accommodate an employee’s desire to use cannabis for recreational purposes.
A link to the policy document can be found here.
For more information about the intersection of legal cannabis and human rights at work or any other workplace issues, please reach out to a member of the Cassels Brock Employment & Labour Group.
In connection with the changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 coming into force on January 1, 2018, the Ministry of Labour has published a new version of the Employment Standards Poster. Employers are required to post the most recent version of the Employment Standards Poster in the workplace where it is likely to come to the attention of employees and must provide a copy to every employee. The poster must be displayed in English however if the majority language of the workplace is a language other than English, and the Ministry of Labour has published a version of the poster in that language, employers are required to post a copy of the translation next to the English version of the poster.Read Full Article
Ontario employers can be forgiven for a lack of enthusiasm in ringing in 2018. Several significant changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) come into effect as of January 1, 2018 and many employers are scrambling to ensure that their policies and practices are up to date. However, the ESA amendments are not the only employment issues that should be on your radar for 2018. We’ve put together a short list of suggested New Year’s resolutions to help employers proactively address potential workplace issues in 2018 and beyond.Read Full Article
Cassels Brock recently hosted a seminar highlighting some of the significant changes and implications of Bill 148 and discussing strategies on how to best prepare for these changes to employment standards, enforcement measures and labour relations. You can now watch a videocast of this seminar - featuring Laurie Jessome, Caitlin Russel and Pamela Hinman - here.Read Full Article
On November 27, 2017, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, received Royal Assent. Bill 148 makes significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA), Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the LRA), and Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Certain amendments under Bill 148 will come into force effective immediately, with other amendments coming into force on December 3, 2017, January 1, 2018, and throughout 2018 and 2019.Read Full Article
Bill 148 made significant amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000. Below we have provided a timeline outlining when the most significant changes will come into force. Please note that this is a summary only, and does not contain all of the details relating to the amendments outlined below. Should you require further information regarding any of the amendments, please contact one of the lawyers in CBB’s Employment and Labour Group.Read Full Article
The federal government recently introduced a bill in the House of Commons that would amend both the Canada Labour Code (the Code) and the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to address concerns regarding workplace harassment and sexual harassment. The government says that Bill C-65 is intended to provide victims of workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment with better protections and support. It also aims to prevent workplace harassment and bullying by making employers responsible for ensuring that their workers are not subjected to risk of “accidents and physical or psychological injuries and illnesses.” Previously, the Code’s workplace safety provisions were primarily focused on accidents and injuries. The inclusion of psychological injuries and illnesses is a significant expansion of the employer’s health and safety responsibilities toward its workers. The draft Bill would also expand the protections in Part II of the Code (which relate to workplace safety) to Parliamentary employees, who had previously been exempt from those provisions of the Code.
To achieve these goals, Bill C-65 would require federally regulated to take the following steps:
On October 18, 2017, the Government of Ontario announced that between October 18, 2017 and December 1, 2017, it will be seeking input from the public to review certain exemptions under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). The announcement signals a potential for further changes to labour and employment laws in Ontario in addition to those currently contemplated under Bill 148.Read Full Article
On June 1, 2017, the Ontario Government introduced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. As we have previously reported, if passed, Bill 148 will significantly alter the employment and labour landscape in Ontario. Today, Bill 148 passed Second Reading after debate in the Ontario Legislature, moving one step closer toward becoming law. The Ontario Government published a news release regarding the Bill’s status, which can be found here.Read Full Article
The Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2017 (“Bill 164”) was introduced to the Ontario Legislature and passed First Reading on October 4, 2017. Bill 164 proposes to add four new prohibited grounds of discrimination to Ontario’s Human Rights Code:Read Full Article
The Ontario Labour Board has found that Canada Bread’s drivers, who were principals of franchisee corporations that contracted with Canada Bread for the right to deliver products along designated routes, are dependent contractors and capable of being certified into bargaining units.Read Full Article
Many employers have found themselves in a situation where their employee has provided a medical note or doctor’s recommendation that doesn’t seem quite right. But how do you investigate further without invading your employee’s privacy and without breaching your duty to accommodate under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”)? A recent decision of the Ontario Divisional Court, Bottiglia v. Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario 2017 ONSC 2517 (“Bottiglia”) provides some helpful guidance.Read Full Article
On June 1, 2017, the government introduced Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. As we have previously reported, if passed, Bill 148 will significantly alter the employment and labour landscape in Ontario. For an overview of the proposed changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA) found in the original version of Bill 148, see our previous posts on changes to the ESA and changes to the LRA.Read Full Article
With legalization of recreational marijuana use on its way, many Canadian employers have been looking for guidance on how to respond to a potential increase in the number of employees who have access to or make use of cannabis products. The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has recently issued a white paper identifying some of the issues employers may face once the Cannabis Act comes into effect and making some recommendations for both employers and government. In connection with preparing this white paper, the HRPA conducted a survey of its members and found that only 11% of responding human resources professionals believed that their workplace policies addressed the use of medical marijuana in the workplace at all and 46% believed their workplace policies did not adequately cover issues that may arise as a result of legalization of recreational marijuana. Close to 90% of respondents had no personal experience with accommodating an employee who used medical marijuana.Read Full Article
As Canadian employers and U.S. employers with Canadian subsidiaries well know, the climate in Canada has never been favourable to drug and alcohol testing. Earlier this month, however, the Supreme Court of Canada endorsed an employer’s decision to terminate the employment of an employee who, post-accident, tested positive for drugs – even after he disclosed that he thought he was addicted to cocaine. The case is Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30.Read Full Article
Following the release of the final Changing Workplaces Review report last week, Ontario employers and (and their lawyers) have been anxiously awaiting the government’s response. In press conference held today Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that her government would be introducing proposed legislation, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, which will amend both the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA). Click here for our update on the changes to the LRA.Read Full Article
As we previously wrote here, last week Ontario’s Ministry of Labour released the final report in its Changing Workplaces Review (Report), which proposed a number of amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA). Today, in response to the recommendations made in the Report, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne held a press conference to announce that her government would be introducing proposed legislation, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (the Act), which will amend both the ESA and the LRA. While not providing detail on the specifics of the proposed amendments, the Ontario Government released a Backgrounder outlining its proposed legislative changes. Click here for our update on the proposed changes to the ESA.Read Full Article
After much anticipation, the Special Advisors appointed to lead the Ministry of Labour’s Changing Workplaces Review (Review) released their final report (Report) this past Tuesday (May 22, 2017). The Report proposes a number of amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (LRA).Read Full Article
Today the Ontario Government released its long-awaited final report (Report) in its Changing Workplaces Review (Review). Initiated in February of 2015, the Review aimed to consider broader issues and trends affecting Ontario’s workplaces (such as an increase in precarious employment and a shift from manufacturing to service jobs) and to assess how Ontario’s existing labour and employment law framework addressed those issues.Read Full Article
In a good news decision for employers, the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Kielb v National Money Mart Company, 2017 ONCA 356, denied an employee’s claim for payment of a non-discretionary bonus on the basis that it was expressly excluded by the relevant contract language.Read Full Article
The Liberal government of Ontario has confirmed a release date for its long-awaited Changing Workplaces Review, which solicited feedback on, and will make recommendations regarding changes to, the province’s Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act. The government is targeting the week of May 22, immediately following the Victoria Day holiday.Read Full Article