Accommodating employees with disabilities and medical issues is an integral part of creating an inclusive and equitable workplace. But what should an employer do if they receive a request for accommodation that does not provide enough information? How can we balance an employee’s right to privacy with an employer’s need for sufficient information to assess an accommodation request?Continue Reading Navigating Disability Accommodation Requests: Balancing Privacy and Information

If you’ve ever explored SpringLaw’s Teams’ Bios, it’s no secret that we are huge pet lovers over here! And, being a virtual law firm, we are lucky enough to work with our furry friends daily. For workplaces that are in-office or hybrid, we have seen various workplaces try to replicate this joy by introducing pet-friendly policies to allow employees to bring their pets to work. For animal lovers, the benefits of bringing your pet to work days may be obvious including improved morale, reduced stress, and even increased productivity. However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for all employees and if you’re thinking about rolling out a Pet Policy at your workplace, there are some very important legal factors to consider before doing so.  Continue Reading Bring your Pet-to-Work Policies – The Do’s, the Don’ts, and the Cautionary Notes 

If you’re an employer or HR representative well-acquainted with the realm of employment law blogs, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a myriad of cautionary tales about the perils of contracting errors.  The blogs about this topic are countless – and for good reason! The significance of getting contracts right cannot be overstated, as a single mistake could potentially lead to substantial liabilities for your organization. An omitted phrase or a misused word within a termination clause could be the deciding factor between an 8-week statutory notice obligation and a hefty 24-month damages award.Continue Reading Don’t Lose Your Enforceable Termination Clause to the Substratum Doctrine

Common Law Notice 

Upon termination of employment, if an employee’s contractual entitlements are not nailed down in an up-to-date and enforceable employment contract, the employee is likely entitled to common law reasonable notice (or pay in lieu of notice) of termination. Even if an employee’s entitlements are set out in an employment contract, it is common these days for employees, on the advice of employment law counsel, to claim that some of the contract’s termination-related provisions are not Waksdale-proof, and are therefore unenforceable. (We discuss how employers can make their contracts Waksdale-proof in this blog, and best practices for rolling out updated contracts in this blog). Under both scenarios, any path to resolution will start with an assessment of the common law notice period.  

Continue Reading Employers Can Create Win-Win Scenarios by Facilitating Re-employment for Ex-Employees

Learn about pay equity obligations for Ontario employers under the Pay Equity Act, including equal pay for work of equal value, applicable exemptions, and consequences for non-compliance.
Continue Reading Equal Pay for Equal Work – Everything You Need to Know About Pay Equity in Your Workplace

Black History Month: Equity Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Every February, Canadians across the country celebrate the incredible achievements and honour the legacy of Black Canadians during Black History Month. The official theme of this year’s Black History Month is “Ours to tell”. This theme is all about engaging in an open dialogue and committing to learning more about the stories Black Canadians and Black communities have to tell about their histories, successes, sacrifices and triumphs. With a commitment to open dialogue in mind, let’s talk about creating an equitable, inclusive and safe workplace.

What do Equity, Diversity and Inclusion really mean?

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are often talked about, but what do these words really mean when it comes to the workplace? By way of definition, diversity is about a workplace’s composition, inclusion ensures everyone has a voice and is heard, and equity is about making sure everyone has what they need to succeed. This does not mean employees are all treated equally. Employers need to be aware of disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized workers and ensure they have fair opportunities at work. Continue Reading An Open Dialogue: Black History Month

Ah, the glow of a fresh new year! It’s human nature to use the holiday season and the start of the new year as a time for self-reflection. As Labour, Employment and Contracts lawyers, we can’t help but suggest you also bring this energy to your business and take a fresh look at your workplace policies.

There are many legally required workplace policies here in Ontario, each with legally required components. Beyond those that are legally required, you likely have or want some other workplace policies in place. Read on for a refresher on those legally required policies and tips and tricks for your review.  Continue Reading A Fresh Year and a Fresh Look At Your Workplace Policies

When Mental Health Meets Canada’s Favourite Pastime

A human rights claim alleging discriminatory reasons for a termination is sure to get noticed this week as it intersects with Canada’s favourite pastime: hockey. A former video analyst for the Canucks, Rachel Doerrie, filed a claim alleging that she was told she wasn’t “mentally fit” for the job just days before being terminated by the organization. She is now seeking monetary compensation and asking the human rights tribunal to make orders that will address the discrimination.
Continue Reading Accommodating Mental Health in the Workplace

An Unprecedented Legislative Move

This week, Bill 28 was repealed and the collective bargaining model in Ontario stands. Why was it such a big legal deal?  

The recent strike by education workers in Ontario made headlines for reasons beyond the usual disruption to parents’ and kids’ everyday lives. On October 30, 2022, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) in Ontario gave notice to the province that the education workers it represents would strike in 5 days. 

On November 3, the province responded by introducing Bill 28, which enacted the Keeping Students in Class Act, 2022, unilaterally imposing a new collective agreement, outlawing the impending strike, and invoking the “notwithstanding clause” in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to do so. This type of legislation is unprecedented. 
Continue Reading The Education Worker Strike: A Primer on Constitutionally-Protected Labour Laws