Assault at the OscarsIf you missed the Oscars last night, you missed viewing a crime in real-time. The live and at-home viewing audience witnessed an assault. If you haven’t seen it, you can view the clip here.  Chris Rock told a joke about Jada Pinkett, and her husband, Will Smith, then walked onto the stage, hit Chris Rock across the face, and went on to retort with profanity on live television. What’s more shocking than the act itself, is that the Oscars live broadcast continued without acknowledgement of the incident and later gave Will Smith an award.

Let’s talk about the law of assault (at least the Canadian definition). Section 265 of the Criminal Code of Canada says a person commits assault when: without the consent of another person, they apply force intentionally to that other person, directly or indirectly. Simply put, it is an assault, if one is making, or attempting to make, contact with another person without their consent. This is sometimes referred to as a common assault or simple assault because it is not aggravated (serious injuries) or with a weapon.  Continue Reading No Award for Violence

Government changes to the covid-19 safety measures & workplace policiesAcross Canada, government mandates regarding masking and vaccination are lifting. In Ontario, vaccine passports are no longer required as of March 1 and masking mandates were lifted as of March 21. Employers who previously rolled out vaccination policies may be wondering what these wider government changes mean for their workplace policies. 

Is A Vaccination Policy Necessary?

The shift in governmental approach towards COVID-19 safety protocols will likely mean that employers looking to justify invasions of employee privacy – i.e. disclosing vaccination status –  based on reasonable health and safety concerns will be less able to do so. This is because the consensus, as evidenced by the change in government mandates, is that maybe this need is not based on a legitimate health and safety concern. This may vary depending on the workplace, but we note that even the employee vaccination mandate for long-term care homes –  which was legally required – has been lifted.  Continue Reading What Does the End of Provincial Covid-19 Safety Measures Mean for Workplace Policies?

SpringLaw hiring two lawyers - we’re busy and need more hands on deck!We’re busy and need 2 more lawyers on deck.  Apply by Friday, April 15, 2022.

SpringLaw is looking for 2 innovative, tech-savvy lawyers with 3+ years of employment law experience, each with a slightly different focus:

  • Litigation-focused lawyer who loves getting on her virtual, digital and sometimes IRL feet, with an interest in criminal law as it intersects with workplace law
  • Solicitor-focused lawyer who loves contracts, drafting, and advising employers in their day-to-day workplace law issues.

Continue Reading SpringLaw is hiring!

pregnancy or parental leave top-up
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

As companies struggle to retain their talent in the midst of so many economic and health changes, many are finding new ways to attract and keep employees. A growing number of companies, for instance, are providing their employees with or extending existing pregnancy or parental leave top-up payments to assist families with caregiving responsibilities (present and/or future). 

Pregnancy vs. Parental Leave Basics

First of all, it’s important to distinguish between two commonly confused leaves: pregnancy and parental leave. In Ontario, pregnancy leave is taken by the birthing parent and typically starts before the birth of the child. Parental leave, on the other hand, can be taken by either or both new parents after the birth of the child or when a child comes into the employee’s custody, care and control. Parental leave can also be used by parents who are adopting a child. The birthing parent will typically take a combination of pregnancy and parental leave. These leaves are protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). The ESA sets out the requirements for the leaves, for example, how long an employee must be employed with the employer before they can take the leave, and the employee’s entitlements both during the leave and upon return from the leave.  Continue Reading Parental Leave, EI and Top-Up Basics

 

Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act: Bill 88 proposes new changes to ESA
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Bill 88 has been receiving a lot of media attention for the aspects related to digital platform workers and the proposed creation of the Digital Platform Workers’ Rights Act, 2022. While this will impact many workers, it will not have an impact on most employers. Employers do need to pay attention to other aspects of the Bill, which propose new changes to the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000. Chief among these is a new requirement for employers with 25 employees or more to have a written policy with respect to electronic monitoring of employees.

Electronic Monitoring of Employees

If passed, Bill 88 will require that employers who employ 25 employees or more, on January 1 of any given year, have a written policy with respect to the electronic monitoring of employees. The wording of the Bill suggests that even employers who do not electronically monitor employees will be required to have a written policy, provided they employ 25 employees or more on January 1 of any given year.  Continue Reading Bill 88: More Changes to the Employment Standards Act

Join SpringLaw’s Lisa Stam and Gaya Murti as they share some practical tips to reduce your legal spend.

– Build the most important, cost-saving legal docs first to avoid pricey exits down the road

– Use firms with collaborative, time-saving platforms and integrated legal support

– DIY what you can, customize the rest

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Time: 10:30-11:00 am EST
Register today: Click here!
Continue Reading Free webinar: Budget-Friendly Legal Services

Non-Compete Clause Update
Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

In a recent post, we talked about Ontario’s then-proposed and now law ban on non-compete agreements in employment contracts under Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“Bill 27”). The ban was effective as of October 25, 2021. Initially, there was some confusion about the enforceability of non-compete agreements or clauses entered into prior to the introduction of Bill 27. The Superior Court of Justice has recently released its decision for Parekh et al. v. Schecter et al., which clarifies that enforceable non-compete clauses entered into before October 25, 2021 will not be impacted by the ban and can be upheld.  Continue Reading Non-Compete Clause Update

IT employment standards rights: how do they differ from other employees?
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Tech is on the rise. Tech jobs have exploded in number in past years, but especially so since the pandemic. We work with a lot of tech clients, especially tech startups with workforces that are growing exponentially. There are many types of workers who work with tech companies, amongst them information technology (IT) professionals. It is critical for tech companies that employ IT professionals to understand the rights of their workers, especially their IT professional employees, whose employment standards rights are different from those of some other employees. 

How Are an IT Professional’s Rights Different? 

Under O. Reg. 285/01 of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), IT professionals are exempt from the following requirements under the ESA: Continue Reading Who is an Information Technology (IT) Professional in Ontario? And What Rules Apply to Them?

back to the workplace
Photo by Maxime on Unsplash

On January 27, 2022, the Ontario government published Regulation 25/22, which amends the Rules for Areas in Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step (“Rules for Step 3”) with respect to COVID-19. All of Ontario moved into Step 3 on January 31, 2022, under Regulation 26/22. 

The amendments to the Rules for Step 3, as it relates to the workplace, removed the requirement for employers to allow workers to work from home. Other changes include revoking the requirement to record peoples’ contact information when entering specified businesses and reducing capacity limits in public venues.  

Employers were previously required, when Ontario temporarily moved to Step 2 on January 5, 2022, to ensure that their employees worked remotely unless they were required to be on-site given the nature of their work.  Continue Reading Bringing workers back into the workplace

Sometimes you just need to move on. In this webinar, we will review types of employee exits, employee entitlements on termination, how to conduct a virtual termination meeting and take your questions about employee break-ups!

Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Time: 10:30-11:00 am EST
Register today: Click here!
Continue Reading Free webinar: Breaking Up With Your Employees