Archives: Employer Resources

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Cameras in the workplace: Privacy Law and inadvertently catching your employees in the act

At SpringLaw, we are interested in privacy, technology and how they intersect in the workplace. A recent arbitration decision brought all three together and gives us some insight into how decision makers might treat evidence collected via surreptitious surveillance. In Vernon Professional Firefighter’s Association, IAFF, Local 1517 and The Corporation of the City of Vernon … Continue Reading

The price of workplace harassment

Valentine’s Day has us thinking about romance. In the mind of an employment lawyer, the leap from romance to harassment is a short one, and so that is what our post is about today. Harassment is not a new topic for us. You can read our past posts on sexual harassment, employer obligations regarding harassment … Continue Reading

Rise of the machines in the workplace

Here Come the Robots Is your workplace about to be automated? A recent study by McKinsey & Company suggests that about half of the activities (not jobs) carried out by workers could be automated right now with currently available technologies.  The study assessed 2000 work activities across more than 800 occupations, including mortgage brokers and … Continue Reading

References: Is honesty the best policy?

As kids, we learned that telling the truth was the right thing to do, but ask a lawyer and this golden rule is likely to become a little bit tarnished! However, a recent decision about honesty when providing a former employee with a reference might make us all feel a little better about telling the … Continue Reading

Top 5 Employment Law Cases of 2018

By: Hilary Page and Lisa Stam 2018 was a whirlwind of statutory changes in the employment law world, which has perhaps overshadowed the judicial developments that have taken place in courts. In today’s post, we turn to all things case law and give our picks for the top 5 employment law cases of 2018. Amberber … Continue Reading

ESA Holiday Musings

Happy Boxing Day everyone! Holidays and vacations are interesting topics for us employment lawyers. We have blogged about Public Holidays under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and in the past. Check out our posts on this topic here. For workplaces in Ontario, governed by provincial law, there are nine Public Holidays. These are: … Continue Reading

Cannabis at the office holiday party

The season of the office holiday party is upon us! In addition to merriment, this time of year can bring a lot of risk for employers. A new risk this year comes in the form of Prime Minister Trudeau’s legal recreational cannabis and Premier Ford’s relaxed consumption laws. In addition to monitoring intoxication levels from … Continue Reading

Update on the Police Record Check Reform Act

Pre-employment police record checks have become common in our information-obsessed society. This is where the employer requires a job candidate to pass a police record check as a condition of being hired. The Police Record Checks Reform Act  (the “Act”) was designed to standardize why and when these record checks can be obtained, as opposed … Continue Reading

Goodbye Personal Emergency Leave

Bill 47, the Ford government’s Making Ontario Open for Business Act has passed. One big change the bill makes is to the much discussed (and much used) Bill 148 amendment regarding Personal Emergency Leave. This amendment will come into force on January 1, 2019. For historical purposes, you can read all about the Bill 148 … Continue Reading

Can an employee take back their intention to retire?

This was the question asked in English v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2018 ONSC 5135 (English). In this case, English, a 66-year-old employee decided to retired when her employer, Manulife Financial Corporation, announced in 2015 that they would be converting their technology and employees would be required to learn a new system. She made this decision … Continue Reading

Remembrance Day and Why We Don’t All Get the Same Days Off

Earlier this year the federal government amended the Holidays Act to include Remembrance Day as a legal holiday. You can read more about this in our past post Remembrance Day Enacted as a Legal Holiday. In Ontario, Remembrance Day has not been added to the Employment Standards Act as a public holiday and consequently, workers … Continue Reading

Again?! Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act

Last week the Ford government tabled Bill 47,  Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. This legislation would repeal many of the amendments made by the Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, most of which came into force in January 2018 but some of which are slated for January 2019. Not surprisingly the … Continue Reading

The Ontario Government and Changes to Bill 148 and Cannabis Law

Legislatively speaking, a lot has happened in the Ontario workplace law space over the past year. The biggest shake-ups being the Bill 148 changes to the Employment Standards Act and today’s legalization of recreational cannabis. The state of workplace law continues to evolve as the Doug Ford government takes steps to undo the Liberal legislation. … Continue Reading

To google or not to google? Candidate background checks

In the information age it’s usually relatively easy to find out all about someone by doing a simple Google search. The burning question of online daters, “do I google my date before the date?” applies equally to employers. Can, and should, an employer background check a candidate? If so when? And how deep can and … Continue Reading

Equal Pay for Midwives

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (HRTO) released an interim decision on September 24, 2018 in the application of the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOH). The AOM brought an application to the HRTO alleging discrimination on the basis of gender in their compensation by the MOH. … Continue Reading

Salaried workers, overtime and hours of work

In our connected age, work often creeps beyond the set hours of the workday. See my last post about legislating the right to disconnect for more on this. We often get questions from employers and employees about whether salaried workers should be getting paid for these extra hours and what exactly counts as “overtime.” Let’s … Continue Reading

Bill 164: Amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code

Bill 164, introduced in October 2017, would expand the current prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code to include social condition, police records, genetic characteristics and immigration status. We are currently waiting on the Bill to pass, or not. It passed second reading and currently sits with the Standing Committee on Regulations … Continue Reading

Legislating the Right to Disconnect

The right to disconnect has been in the news lately following the release of the federal government’s report on their year-long consultations about modernizing the federal Canada Labour Code. Have a look at the full report: What We Heard: Modernizing Federal Labour Standards. 93% of respondents stated that employees should have the right to refuse … Continue Reading

Secret Recordings in the Workplace

Technology has impacted our privacy in a myriad of ways. One crafty use of technology that we see more and more in workplace disputes, is employee made audio recordings. Employees are turning on their voice memo apps before they go into important meetings and covertly recording their conversations. While undeniably an audio recording is great … Continue Reading
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