Archives: Workplace Policies

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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

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

Accessible Canada Act – The Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada

Canada has just passed a new law to strengthen accessibility for people with a disability in federally regulated workplaces and organizations. The Act to Ensure a Barrier Free Canada, also known as the Accessible Canada Act (the “Act”), came into force on July 11, 2019 and aims to create a “Canada without barriers” by the … Continue Reading

Workplace data theft – Protect your company with best practices

The Capital One Data Breach has been big news lately, and for good reason. It’s a big deal. This breach compromised the data of over 100 million Capital One customers. Instead of a shadowy overseas hacker or a creepy crawler from the dark web, the hacker was a former employee of the cloud hosting company … 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

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

“Avoid seductive styles” – Telling your employees how to dress

A news story caught our attention recently. The University of Quebec in the Outaouais (UQO) commissioned an instructional video for university employees instructing them on how to dress for work and then emailed it out to staff. The four-minute video, hosted by a Gatineau based fashion stylist, provided such tips as don’t dress like you’re … 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

Employer Pays for Failing to Investigate Harassment

Readers of our blog will know that employers have a legal obligation to take workplace harassment seriously. These obligations are set out in Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and require that employers with more than five employees have a policy and procedure dealing with workplace violence and harassment. Employers are required to take … 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

Whose device is it anyway?

Technology continues to blur the lines between our personal and work lives.  How often have you answered a client email on your work laptop, only to receive a follow-up question via text message on your personal phone?   Many workplaces have adapted to the fluid use of technology and encourage their employees to use their … 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

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

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

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

Again?! Bill 47, Making Ontario Open for Business Act

Last week the Ford government tabled Bill 47,  Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. This legislation would repeal many of the amendments made by the Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, most of which came into force in January 2018 but some of which are slated for January 2019. Not surprisingly the … Continue Reading
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