Archives: Workplace Policies

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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

COVID-19 FAQs for Employers

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 16, 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

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

Why You Need An Employee Handbook – The Devil Is In The Details

What’s an Employee Handbook? An employee handbook is a document where an employer can keep all their policies, procedures and other information an employee needs to have. Often, it forms a part of the employee’s contract, and employees are required to review the handbook and sign their copy to acknowledge their understanding.  Why Do You … Continue Reading

Public Health Emergencies and the Workplace

The Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (or 2019-vCoV) is a public health emergency in Canada with confirmed cases in Ontario. This has led many employers to ask how they should manage their employees’ concerns, while still trying to operate “business as usual”.  On the one hand, employers are obligated to provide a healthy and safe work environment, … 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

How to Remote Work Well

There was a time when working away from a brick and mortar office was considered a luxury only afforded to those at the very top of the organizational structure – out of reach for anyone else. Today, all sorts of positions are advertised with a remote working option, in part due to the ever-growing desire … Continue Reading

Tips for Having a Great (and Responsible) Holiday Party

Holiday parties are a great opportunity for employers to engage with their employees in a relaxed atmosphere. While it is important for everyone to enjoy themselves in the lead up to the holidays, employers should try to strike a balance between having a good time and an atmosphere reminiscent of the kind of antics you … Continue Reading

Power Imbalances and Romance in the Workplace

McDonald’s is in the news this week after their Board told their CEO, Steve Easterbrook, to “move on” after learning that he had been engaging in a romantic relationship with an employee. While the relationship was “consensual,” McDonald’s policy forbids managers from having romantic relationships with subordinates – whether they directly supervise them or otherwise. … 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

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
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