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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

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
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