Archives: Employer Resources

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Unauthorized Absences – When your employees are crazy sports fans!

With the huge response to the Raptors parade this week we thought it a good time to revisit the issue of unauthorized employee absences. Many employers allowed their employees the day off to go celebrate, but there were also reports showing some employees, who did not get the day off, wearing fake noses and disguises … Continue Reading

Requiring Agility – How Much Can an Employer Change Job Duties?

At SpringLaw we work with a lot of tech companies and start-ups who are all about agility. These employers often include language in their contracts that speaks to being flexible with duties and rolling with the punches as the company scales. How flexible can employers expect their employees to be when it comes to having … Continue Reading

Top 10 mistakes to avoid when hiring your first employee

For this week’s blog, we have gathered a list of the top 10 mistakes commonly made by freelancers and startups when hiring their first employee.  Avoiding these pitfalls will help start you off on the right foot and avoid the hiring headaches! We’ve also covered our Top 10 list in this month’s SpringForward Legal Updates … Continue Reading

Fired by a robot!

Amazon has been in the news recently for its practice of tracking warehouse workers’ box packing speed and firing them if they do not “make rate.”  According to internal Amazon documents, related to a termination at a Baltimore Maryland warehouse location, Amazon’s automated tracking system automatically generates a series of warnings. After 6 warnings in … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment in the Fundraising Donor Space – Part Two

Firstly, Happy May Day and Happy International Workers’ Day! This week we will be continuing our series on Sexual Harassment in the Fundraising Donor Space and exploring situations where needed donations or funding come with strings attached. If you haven’t read our Part One from last week, you may want to check it out before … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment in the Fundraising Donor Space – Part One

We have talked a lot about workplace sexual harassment on this blog. Practising exclusively in workplace law we, unfortunately, see the issue of workplace sexual harassment come up a lot. Helping employers and employees of all shapes and sizes deal with issues related to sexual harassment makes up a lot of what we do. Employer … Continue Reading

Bill 66 Passes

Bill 66 has passed! Further to our past post on Bill 66 the oh so neutrally named Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act received Royal Assent in the Ontario legislature on April 3, 2019. This Bill ushers in further changes to the Ontario workplace statutory landscape, with amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Labour … Continue Reading

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law – Part 2

Last week we discussed traditional ways of resolving employment law disputes. This week we will dig into the alternative! Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Given the limitations of formal dispute resolution processes (for more on this check out our post from last week), the use of ADR has increased in significance.   ADR involves the implementation of … Continue Reading

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Employment Law – Part 1

The practice of law has changed.  The days of the gun-slinging Harvey Specter-esque litigator, sipping single malt scotch whiskey and ready to obliterate his opponent at a moment’s notice, has given way to a new breed of tech-savvy, collaborative and cost-conscious lawyers who are more concerned with serving their clients’ personal and business needs than … Continue Reading

When employees revolt!

Microsoft employees recently made the news protesting the company’s $479 million contract with the U.S. Military to create mixed reality headsets using the HoloLens platform for use in war. Click on the link if you have no clue what we are talking about, but these are basically headsets that blend reality and virtual reality into … Continue Reading

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
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