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Gender-Inclusive LanguageRecent legislative changes acknowledge society’s growing understanding of gender diversity in all places, including the workplace. More provinces and territories may follow in adapting their employment legislation to reflect current norms. 

Employers can and should take proactive steps to create inclusive workplaces by acknowledging and promoting gender diversity and making sure to address employees by their preferred pronouns. Failing to do so could lead to potential human rights claims.

In various parts of the country, employment-related legislation has recently been amended to include gender-inclusive language. As society develops an understanding of gender diversity, our legislation is starting to keep up with the times.
Continue Reading Legislation Brings Gender-Inclusive Language

Common Employer Determination: Rahman vs CannonIn a previous blog post, we wrote about the recent Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc case. Here’s a recap of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision:

  • an employee’s level of sophistication has no bearing on whether a termination clause is enforceable
  • the language in with-cause termination provisions needs to be carefully worded and abide by requirements in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)

And more importantly: 

  • subsidiary and parent companies of an employer can be considered “common employers” if there is a certain level of integration between the companies, making them jointly and severally liable to the employee 

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the Court’s finding that the three respondent companies were common employers. 
Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates Part II

Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates: Rahman vs CannonDoes the employee’s level of contract knowledge make a contract more enforceable? Who is on the hook for termination pay if a company has subsidiary or parent companies? 

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently answered these questions in Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc. The bottom line of the decision is:

  • an employee’s level of sophistication has no bearing on whether a termination clause is enforceable
  • the language in with-cause termination provisions needs to be carefully worded and abide by requirements in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) 
  • subsidiary and parent companies of an employer can be considered “common employers” if there is a certain level of integration between the companies, making them jointly and severally liable to the employee. 


Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates

Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies - Proceed with Caution!We’ve been hearing about unlimited paid time off  (PTO) for some time, but it is not yet a common trend in Canada. However, from time to time in our employment law practice, we encounter employers who offer unlimited or unstructured time off to their employees.

At first glance,  unlimited PTO may sound wonderful and generous, and employers may offer it to foster a positive workplace culture and promote work-life balance. However,  without addressing potential issues via contracts and policies, offering unlimited and unstructured time off could cause more headaches than benefits for both the employers and the employees. 
Continue Reading Unlimited Paid Time Off Policies – Proceed with Caution!

À compter du 14 mai, le port du masque n’est plus obligatoire dans les milieux de travail au Québec, à l’exception des transports et milieux de soins. 

Le gouvernement du Québec a publié le 11 mai, 2022, l’arrêté numéro 2022-032 du ministre de la Santé et des Services sociaux, qui précise certaines circonstances où les membres du public doivent continuer à porter un masque, notamment dans les transports et milieux de soins de santé.

Le télétravail et le mode de travail hybride se poursuivent selon les modalités prévues par l’employeur, si applicable.
Continue Reading La fin des masques en milieu de travail

On April 22, 2022, the Ontario government announced that provincial masking requirements, which were set to expire on April 27, 2022, are being extended in certain higher-risk indoor settings until 12:00 a.m. on June 11, 2022. The extended measures have been made in an attempt to manage the sixth wave of COVID-19.

These higher-risk settings include:

  • public transit;
  • health care settings (e.g., hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics that provide health care services, laboratories, specimen collection centres, and home and community care);
  • long-term care homes;
  • retirement homes; and
  • shelters and other congregate care settings that provide care and services to medically and socially vulnerable individuals.


Continue Reading Before you take off your mask: masking still required in certain Ontario settings

Can Employees Record Work Meetings?
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With the rise of remote working in the past couple of years, virtual work meetings, whether over video or phone call, have become a common occurence. With that comes the issue of recording work calls. In this post, we address the possible risks involved when an employee records work meetings, either surreptitiously or with consent. 

Can an employee legally record a work call?

It is technically legal in Canada for an employee to record a conversation they are a part of, and the employee does not attract criminal liability if they do so surreptitiously, as long as they were a part of the call. However, Courts across Canada have found that surreptitious recording can justify termination for cause. 
Continue Reading Can Employees Record Work Meetings?

back to the workplace
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On January 27, 2022, the Ontario government published Regulation 25/22, which amends the Rules for Areas in Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step (“Rules for Step 3”) with respect to COVID-19. All of Ontario moved into Step 3 on January 31, 2022, under Regulation 26/22. 

The amendments to the Rules for Step 3, as it relates to the workplace, removed the requirement for employers to allow workers to work from home. Other changes include revoking the requirement to record peoples’ contact information when entering specified businesses and reducing capacity limits in public venues.  

Employers were previously required, when Ontario temporarily moved to Step 2 on January 5, 2022, to ensure that their employees worked remotely unless they were required to be on-site given the nature of their work. 
Continue Reading Bringing workers back into the workplace