dress code rulesWith so much hot news swirling around, some may have missed the story of the Arctic research mission MOSAiC’s dress code. Apparently, women on board the ship were told not to dress in tight-fitting clothing, and specifically no leggings, no crop tops, no short shorts, no hot pants and “nothing too revealing.” The leader of the mission apparently felt that this was a “safety issue,” as “there are a lot of men on board this ship … and some of them are going to be on board this ship for months at a time.” Ah hem. 

It’s been reported that the dress code policy followed allegations of sexual harassment made by several women on the ship.

Continue Reading Dress Code Rules: What’s wrong with saying “no hot pants”?

SpringLaw is hiring

SpringLaw is hiring! We’re looking for another rockstar lawyer to join our virtual employment law boutique that helps bosses and execs build and manage workplaces with more calm and less drama. We believe in using tech and automation to deliver legal services more efficiently, so that we can focus on connecting with our clients IRL and on a human level. The firm was founded over 3 years ago on a paperless and virtual model and built to thrive in our new online environment. We’re busy and need more hands on deck.

Click here for more detes: https://www.springlaw.ca/rockstar-lawyer/

Risks of Not Firing Properly
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Employers often wonder what the consequences might be if they don’t do everything their lawyer tells them to or, if they don’t get a lawyer at all and just “wing it” when hiring, firing, or dealing with workplace issues like harassment complaints or requests for accommodation. 

Of course, it depends. Not every employee is going to be litigious, but a fair number are. It’s generally pretty easy for employees to get legal consultations and a lawyer to take their “wrongful dismissals” on contingency. The barrier to entry can be quite low.  

So, what can an employer expect? In today’s post, we will go through the various types of employer-worst-case-scenario employment law damages.
Continue Reading Employment Law Damages: The Risk of Not Firing Properly

A Guide for Employers during COVID-19A Guide for Employers during COVID-19

This Guide sets out the key employment law issues to consider, as well as the government’s financial relief options to explore to get through this deep economic crisis.  (Last Updated October 21, 2020).

Further free resources can be found here.

Should you need legal advice on how to manage your workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak, please get in touch.

executive termination package entitlements
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Unfortunately, lots of terminations are coming across our desks these days. While most employers understand that they need to provide notice of termination, many employees have a variety of different types of compensation which may or may not continue during the notice period. As with many things in law, it depends! 

Let’s go over some of the common aspects of executive termination packages.

A Primer on Notice

It all starts with notice! Unless an employee is being terminated for cause, they are entitled to notice of termination. “For cause” or “with cause” terminations are rare, so in most cases and absent egregious employee behaviour, employers will owe employees notice.
Continue Reading Termination Entitlements: Benefits, Bonuses and Commissions

Covid-19 workplace legal considerations and compliance issuesJoin Marnie Baizley and Danielle Murray as they provide an overview of the workplace legal considerations and compliance issues employers will need to consider as we enter the 2nd wave of Covid-19.

Register today for our free SpringForward Legal Updates webinar – 2nd Wave Workplace Law Issues.

Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Time: 10:30 a.m. E.S.T.

SpringForward Legal Updates Webinar Series: Each month, on the 3rd Wednesday at 10:30 am EST, we do a 30-minute deep dive into key employment law issues impacting workplaces.  You can find our previous webinar recordings on our YouTube channel.

New recovery benefits replace Canada Emergency Response Benefit
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So long, CERB! The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) has officially ended.

Those who were receiving the CERB can now apply for the new recovery benefits. These benefits are retroactive to September 27, 2020, and available until September 25, 2021.

The Canada Recovery Caregiving and Sickness Benefits

As of this Monday, October 5, 2020, the following benefits are now open for applications through the
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Here is some information on these new benefits: Continue Reading Life After CERB: New Government Benefits

New COVID-19 health and safety compliance obligations
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The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Ontario government amending regulation  O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“the Regulation”). The new amendment took effect on Saturday, September 26, 2020, and imposes on employers new health and safety compliance obligations related to COVID-19, specifically employee screening, or as the Regulation puts it:

“The person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall operate the business or organization in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health on screening individuals.” Continue Reading New Mandatory Employer Obligation – Ongoing COVID-19 Workplace Screening

Considerations for employers recalling employees to work
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Employers are encountering issues as they ask their employees to come back to work. We will take a look at some of these in today’s blog. 

A Recap 

Many employees were placed on layoffs in March 2020, when the shutdowns occurred. In Ontario, these layoffs were then converted into deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leaves. While statutory layoff timelines normally restrict the amount of time an employee can be on a layoff before being considered terminated, in Ontario the Infectious Disease Emergencies Leave amendments to the Employment Standards Act changed this. Ontario employees can now be involuntarily off work (laid off) until January 2, 2020, without having a  termination triggered. 

A layoff does not end the employment relationship. It’s just a temporary pause, which anticipates that the employer will bring the employee back to work or recall them.  Continue Reading Recalling Employees to Work: Considerations for Employers

accommodating employees keeping kids home
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When is fear of Covid-19 justification for keeping kids home from school and to what extent does an employer have to accommodate the employee’s preference? While we’ve discussed this and similar issues on the blog in the past few weeks, a recent family court decision sheds some light on how courts might treat this issue.

Disagreement About Going to School

In Chase v. Chase, a divorced mother and father disagreed about whether their son should attend school in-person or do online learning. No one in either household had an underlying medical condition which would make them more vulnerable to complications from Covid-19.  Continue Reading A Judge Decides About Going to School: Guidance for Employers