Archives: HR

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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

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

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

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

When Key Employees Leave

High turnover is a growing issue for companies. As I’ve written in the past, the Millennial generation are quick to jump ship for a better opportunity or when they feel the values of the company no longer match their own. Employers need to prepare themselves for the inevitable departures of key employees. Considerations When a … Continue Reading

Workplace Harassment – Employer Obligations

We see almost daily news items about workplace harassment, and employers can expect an uptick in worker awareness and complaints of workplace harassment.  Whether or not an employer has received a complaint, they should be aware of their obligations when it comes to workplace violence and harassment. Violence and Harassment Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act … Continue Reading

Is my employment contract still good?

In our practice the question of whether an employment contract is still enforceable comes up often. This usually happens around terminations — whether we are advising a recently terminated employee or helping an employer prepare for a termination, the question of whether dated contract provisions can be relied upon is crucial. Assuming that the contract … Continue Reading

Millennials at Work: Common Legal Issues

There is no shortage of writing about millennial workers. Millennials are the fastest growing cohort of workers, and they are reshaping the way we work, especially in traditional industries. Millennials, the group broadly defined as those born between 1982 – 2000, have different views and different needs than the generations that came before them. They … Continue Reading

Remote Workers: Pros, Cons and Tips

I love technology and embrace the changes it brings to the workplace. One way we see a big shift is the rising popularity of remote working. Our firm, SpringLaw, is totally remote so perhaps I have a slight bias, but remote working has several advantages. Remote working can also present some challenges. Employers interested in … Continue Reading

Social Media and Recruitment

It has become commonplace for employers to review the social media presence of candidates before hire. A look at a candidate’s Facebook profile, Twitter or LinkedIn is a different kind of background check. How a candidate presents themselves on social media can tell an employer a lot about them, but potentially get employer into hot … Continue Reading

Public Holiday Pay Change

The first reversal of a Bill 148 change is on the horizon. On May 7, 2018, the Ontario government announced it will be reviewing the Bill 148 change to how public holiday pay is calculated. The new way of calculating public holiday pay has reportedly generated the most complaints of any of the Bill 148 … Continue Reading

Update on Random Drug Testing in the Workplace

With the legalization of marijuana looming on the horizon this summer, concerned employers are thinking about how to keep drugs out of the workplace. While random workplace drug testing might seem like an attractive option, in Canada the law remains unsettled on what’s permitted. The most prominent legal battle over random drug testing in Canada … Continue Reading

Pay Transparency Act Passes

In March, we blogged about Ontario’s Bill 203 the Pay Transparency Act, 2018. On April 26, 2018, the Bill passed on third reading. The Pay Transparency Act, 2018 (the Act) will come into force on January 1, 2019. The purpose of the Act is to promote gender equality and equal compensation between men and women … Continue Reading
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