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Andrew Shaw has a general and diverse labour and employment practice. Mr. Shaw regularly represents employers in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and before various labour, employment and human rights related administrative tribunals. In particular, his practice is focused on providing his clients with strategic advice regarding various matters including employment standards, labour arbitration, collective bargaining, human rights, wrongful dismissals and occupational health and safety. Mr. Shaw also regularly assists clients with reviewing and updating their workplace policies and procedures, as well as providing the training required to ensure these policies are properly implemented and applied.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Shaw held labour relations positions at both private and public sector companies. In these roles, he managed the processing of grievances to an appropriate resolution, assisted internal clients with the interpretation of employment-related legislation, and provided counsel to senior management as required.

Around this time last year, we blogged about the decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “ONSC”) in Jane Doe 464533 v ND (“Jane Doe“), a case that effectively created a new privacy tort – “public disclosure of embarrassing private facts” (you can read our post here). It was a tort that responded to a disturbing trend on the internet where embarrassing images or videos of people are posted without their consent. Continue Reading Privacy Tort Update – Not So Fast on Public Disclosure of Embarrassing Private Stuff

Key elements of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (“Bill 132”) come into force today, amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”). As a result, employers are required to implement comprehensive policies, programs, and investigative procedures to address workplace harassment. Bill 132 also expands the definition of “workplace harassment” to include “workplace sexual harassment”. Continue Reading Employers Take Note: OHSA Amendments Under Bill 132 are Now in Force!

Ontario Legislature Passes Bill 132: What Employers Need to Know

Bill 132 will increase the obligations on employers to protect employees against workplace harassment. The Ontario Government recently passed Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 and employers will need to comply with its requirements as of September 8, 2016.

Continue Reading September is fast approaching – New Sexual Violence and Harassment Law will apply to Ontario Employers

On December 3, 2015, the Ontario Legislature’s Bill 113, the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015(the “Act”) received Royal Assent. The Act represents the first provincial legislation of its kind to provide a comprehensive framework aimed at establishing a consistent standard governing how a “police background check” (“PBC”) is requested, conducted and disclosed in the Province.

Continue Reading Police Record Check Reform Act: Restricting Employer Flexibility in Favour of Individual Privacy

Employment contracts can be frustrating, but they can also be frustrated.  The former is a simple fact of life, while the latter is a key principle of contract law.

“Frustration” occurs where an unanticipated event destroys the heart of the contract to the point where it can no longer be fulfilled. When a contract becomes frustrated, the parties are relieved of any obligation they were contractually bound to perform.  The legal concept, while simple in theory, has been difficult for employers to apply, particularly in the case of absences due to the critical illness or injury of an employee.

In the recent case of The Estate of Christian Drimba v Dick Engineering Inc., 2015 ONSC 2843 (“Drimba”), an Ontario court examined the concept of frustration in the case of the terminal illness of an employee who subsequently passed away.  The case provides guidance to employers about the factors a court or tribunal may look at when making such a determination. Continue Reading A Frustrating Employment Contract: When Does it End in the Case of Terminal Illness?

On May 26, 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) released a decision that declared the local strikes by teachers in the Durham, Sudbury (Rainbow), and Peel public school boards to be unlawful. At the time the OLRB hearings were held, there were approximately 74,000 secondary students “out of class” as a result of the strikes. Continue Reading The Vacation is Over: The Ontario Labour Relations Board Declares Secondary School Strikes Unlawful and Sends 74,000 Students Back to Class

In our last post, we gave an overview of the union certification process, talked about why employees might choose to join unions and some signs of union organizing that employers should watch for. In this post, we will discuss what employers can and cannot do during an organizing campaign. Continue Reading Not on My Watch – What Employers Can Do When Unions Come Knocking (Part 2)

When an employer receives a certification application, the countdown clock begins. If the employer was unaware that an organizing campaign was underway, the employer will have only five days to formulate a plan and implement it. This means that employers are often left scrambling, which could result in certification of the union or an unfair labour practice complaint.

Recently, this issue was highlighted in an article by the Toronto Star, which discussed the certification of housekeepers at the Trump Hotel in Toronto. Continue Reading Not on My Watch – What Employers Can Do When Unions Come Knocking (Part 1)

It could be a blizzard, a hurricane or a torrential downpour. The fact of the matter is that Mother Nature can, and will, strike; and, no matter what form it comes in, severe weather imposes challenges upon businesses of all sizes. When faced with issues like slippery or flooded roads, it can be tough to balance the needs of a business with the safety of its employees.

We often get questions from employers who are staring into the face of the proverbial tornado and trying to understand their rights and obligations. This blog will address four of the most commonly asked questions. Continue Reading Weather Permitting? Employer Rights When Faced With Severe Weather

Most employers pay premiums under Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (the “WSIA”), providing workers who suffer injury or death in the course of employment with “no fault” insurance benefits.  When workplace injuries occur that are covered by WSIA benefits, workers must claim through the WSIA’s insurance plan, and are “barred” from pursuing a civil claim against their employer.

But when are mental stress claims covered?  And when must an employee claim for mental stress under the WSIA instead of filing a civil claim? Continue Reading Mental Stress and the WSIA: Constitutionality and the “Statutory Bar”