We recently wrote about the Ontario government’s proposed changes to the province’s employment standards and labour relations legislation – see our blog posts here and here. On June 1, 2017, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Kevin Flynn, introduced legislation to affect these changes. Continue Reading Early Approval Across Party Lines for ESA & LRA Amending Legislation

The Ontario government has announced that it will introduce legislation, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, in the coming days to reform the province’s employment standards legislation. The announcement follows last week’s release of the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report which contained a myriad of recommendations for reforms to benefit employees.[1]

The key changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) that the government has indicated will be included in the proposed legislation are summarized below. Continue Reading Ontario Responds Quickly to Strengthen ESA

On May 23, 2017, Ontario’s long-anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report (“Report”) was released.  The Report contains 173 recommendations for changes to the province’s employment standards and labour relations laws.

The final recommendations would, if legislated, have a significant impact on the application of labour and employment laws to franchised businesses operating in Ontario.  To help businesses prepare for the possibility of these significant reforms, we have summarized below the recommendations that would most significantly impact the franchise industry. Continue Reading Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review Takes Aim at Franchise Industry

In the recent decision of Covenoho v. Pendylum Ltd., 2017 ONCA 284, the Ontario Court of Appeal put an end to any debate about the enforceability of termination provisions in employment agreements that may violate minimum employment standards legislation in the future. The takeaway for employers from the case is as simple as it is noteworthy: a termination provision that breaches minimum employment standards legislation in the future – even if compliant at the time of the employee’s termination from employment – is void and therefore will not be enforced. Continue Reading Into the Void: Potential Future Violations of ESA Sufficient to Set Aside Employment Contract

On March 22, 2017, the Canadian Federal Government released Budget 2017: Building a Strong Middle Class (“Budget 2017”) which proposes more flexible parental, maternity and caregiving leaves and Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits to support employees in balancing work and their family responsibilities. Continue Reading Federal Budget Changes to Parental, Maternity & Caregiving Leaves

To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2016: Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2016

Earlier this year, we wrote about the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) publication of the Final Rule, which significantly increased the minimum salary an employee must earn to qualify for the “white collar” exemption and the highly compensated employee exemption under federal law (see our blog post here). However, on November 22, 2016, a federal court in Texas blocked the enactment of the amendments that were set to go into effect next week on December 1, 2016. Finding that the DOL had exceeded its authority in increasing the salary basis for these exemptions, the court entered a nationwide preliminary injunction against the amendments going into effect.

For further information about the court’s preliminary order and our recommended actions for employers with operations in the US, please read our client alert.

Minimum wages continue to rise across Canada. Recent increases have been implemented in British Columbia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. As well, Alberta’s NDP government has continued to pursue its goal of a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2018 by implementing incremental increases. Several other provinces will see a further increase in their minimum wage in April. Continue Reading Minimum Wage Update: Increases in AB, BC, ON, PEI and SK

On July 27, 2016, an Ontario court certified a class action against Just Energy, a natural gas and electricity retailer, in which 7,000 of its sales agents claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors.

The case, Omarali v. Just Energy, is the first of its kind to be certified in Canada. If the sales agents are successful, the company could face large liabilities relating to unpaid wages (including overtime, vacation and public holiday pay) and unremitted income taxes and other required deductions. Continue Reading First in Class: Independent Contractor Class Action Certified in Canada

Canadian businesses with operations in the United States should be aware that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently unveiled its amended proposal to collect summary pay data from employers with 100 or more employees. Under the proposed amendments, employers who already file an Employer Information Report (EEO-1) will be required to also report pay to US employees by gender, race, and ethnicity, across 12 pay bands, by March 31, 2018. Covered employers should start considering now how to adjust their pay, collection, and reporting processes for their US operations.

To learn more about the proposed regulation’s impact on employers, please click here.