Archives: Employment Standards

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How Can I Afford Legal Advice if My Business is Sinking?

How Can I Afford Legal Advice? Many employers are facing rock hard choices right now: layoff on shaky legal ground or go bankrupt? Let some employees go, but how to afford termination pay? Offer more than ESA minimums to get a release or risk a claim down the road? Since early March 2020, we’ve found … Continue Reading

Rightsizing Your Workforce During COVID-19

Unchartered Workplace Waters For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented losses in a short period of time.  It has been a time of incredible stress, uncertainty and countless questions about how you can stay afloat, best manage your team and, eventually, rebuild.  At SpringLaw, we have been navigating … Continue Reading

Working Safely From Home

What are the employer’s obligations to an employee when an employee is not working in the office? With so many employees now working from home, employers’ health and safety obligations need to be reexamined.  The Occupational Health and Safety Act and Working From Home In Ontario, section 3(1) the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) states … Continue Reading

Answers to COVID-19 FAQs from employers – April 1 update

Answers to frequently asked questions from employers regarding COVID-19 – the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak in the workplace. (Last Updated April 1, 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.… Continue Reading

Answers to COVID-19 FAQs from employers – March 30 update

Answers to frequently asked questions from employers regarding COVID-19 – the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak in the workplace. (Last Updated March 30, 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 … Continue Reading

New Programs for Employees and Employers During the COVID-19 Crisis: the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

The measures introduced to protect us all from COVID-19 have had a huge economic impact on individuals and businesses. The federal government has been rolling out – and changing – various relief measures over the past few weeks.  Today we will outline two new measures which will likely be helpful to many of the businesses … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers – March 26 update

FAQs for Employers – Frequently asked questions by employers needing more information on the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak. (Last Updated March 26, 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 … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers – March 23 update

FAQs for Employers – Frequently asked questions by employers needing more information on the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak. (Last Updated March 23, 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.… Continue Reading

Ontario’s New Infectious Disease Emergencies Leave

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Ontario Legislature passed Bill 186, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 (“the Bill”).  The Bill amends the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA) adding new job protection for employees affected by COVID-19. This job protection is retroactive to January 25, 2020.  What is the Leave and Do I … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers – March 18 update

FAQs for Employers – Frequently asked questions by employers needing more information on the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak. (Last Updated March 18, 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 … Continue Reading

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers – March 17 update

FAQs for Employers – Frequently asked questions by employers needing more information on the impact, rules and best practices for addressing the global coronavirus outbreak. (Last Updated March 17, 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 … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to the Ontario Employment Standards Act in the Face of the Pandemic

I think we can all agree that the world is a little bonkers lately –  it seems like things are changing and getting more serious by the minute. Between the time I thought I was finished writing and ready to press “publish” Ontario declared a state of emergency.  We are getting lots of questions from … Continue Reading

Surveillance in the Workplace

Workplace privacy is an evolving and somewhat muddy area of law. In Ontario, our key employment law statutes, the Employment Standards Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, are silent on the issue of privacy. Yet surveillance is ubiquitous. Employers often have cameras in the workplace, which end up providing them information about their … Continue Reading

How to go to the bathroom at work

Bathroom breaks come up frequently in news stories about workers’ rights. The City of Hamilton just narrowly avoided a transit strike where bathroom breaks were a major issue. A City of Ottawa transit worker, calling himself a “whistle-blower” also recently spoke about lack of “recovery time” for drivers – aka not enough time to go … Continue Reading

Know Your Legal Obligations for Co-Op Students

Cooperative education programs have become a crucial part of the educational experience as students and institutions recognize that on the job training enhances the overall educational experience. A good co-op can ground a student’s in-class learning by introducing them to practical “real world” problems. If the placement goes well, students may be offered a job … Continue Reading

Will Saving Provisions No Longer Save Us?

Saving provisions are widely used in employment agreements to ensure that even if a decision-maker finds that some aspect of some clause is not enforceable due to the fact that it could possibly, maybe, one day, maybe, sorta violate the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the saving provision will communicate to that judge that this was … Continue Reading

Ministry of Labour Inspections

The Ministry of Labour (MOL or the Ministry) has been busy implementing its Healthy and Safe Ontario Workplaces Strategy. Introduced by the previous Wynne government, the initiative has focused on small Ontario industrial businesses. A small business is one with fewer than 50 workers.  Occupational Health and Safety Act Inspections In late August, the Ministry … Continue Reading

Another One Bites the Dust – Mass Closures and Employer Responsibilities to Employees

Another large fashion retailer has fallen out of style with consumers, closing its doors for good across Canada. Last Sunday, Bradley Sell, the Chief Financial Officer of the Canadian subsidiary Forever XXI ULC (“Forever 21 Canada”), announced that all 44 of its Canadian stores would be closing. Sell cited economic viability as the primary reason … Continue Reading

What Happens to Vacation When an Employee is on a Leave?

Employers often have questions about what to do with vacation when an employee is on a leave. Do they still earn vacation time? Do they still get vacation pay even if they aren’t getting paid? Vacation is one of the trickiest employment standards, but we will shed some light into its dark corners in this … Continue Reading

All About Overtime

Our clients ask a lot of questions about overtime. Despite many workplaces that are trying hard to keep work hours reasonable and limit them to 40 hours per week, in busy workplaces, overtime is very often inevitable – at least once in awhile.  There is a lot to know about overtime, more than we can … Continue Reading

Canada Labour Code Amendments Coming into Force

Calling all federal sector employers! Significant amendments to the Canada Labour Code come into force on September 1, 2019. That’s this coming Sunday.  Does this apply to you?  Employers are often confused by the various workplace laws and requirements. It’s tricky to know which apply and not every law applies to every workplace.  In Canada, … Continue Reading

Accommodating Addictions

A labour arbitration decision out of Nova Scotia has got us thinking about what will qualify as addiction and justify accommodation in the work setting.  In Unifor, Local 2215 v IMP Group Ltd (Aerospace Division) (AB Grievance), [2019] NSLAA No 4, Arbitrator Richardson determined that an employee’s on the job masturbation was not justified by … Continue Reading

Employment Law Issues for Chiropractors and Physiotherapists

As our population becomes more technology dependent and urbanized, we are increasingly adopting more sedentary lifestyles than our ancestors.  One of the consequences of using our bodies less and our brains more is a host of negative health outcomes, including musculoskeletal issues from being hunched over screens for most of our waking lives.  Thankfully, a … Continue Reading
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