Legislative & Regulatory Changes

On June 19, 2017, five years after “gender identity” and “gender expression” were added as protected grounds of discrimination in Ontario’s Human Rights Code, the Federal government has added “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Continue Reading Federal Government Adds “Gender Identity” And “Gender Expression” to Canadian Human Rights Act

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

Further to our recent blog post about the Ontario government’s reform of the employment standards legislation through The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, employers can also expect significant changes to the legislation governing unionized workplaces. The key changes proposed in respect of Ontario’s Labour Relations Act (“LRA”) concern union certification, bargaining unit structure, first contracts, just cause protection, return-to-work rights and procedures, successor rights, and fines for individuals and organizations, which are summarized below. Continue Reading Ontario Set to Make Significant Changes to Labour Relations Act

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

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

Amid the post-holiday whirlwind, amendments to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act and the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 under Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (“Bill 132”) have come into force. Continue Reading Reminder: With the New Year Come New Obligations for Colleges and Universities!

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.

webinarCanadian businesses with operations in the United States should be aware that the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission recently issued antitrust guidance for human resource professionals and others who are involved in hiring and compensation decisions. The guidance warns of criminal prosecution against companies, human resource professionals and other individuals for formal and informal wage-fixing or no-poaching agreements between companies. The agencies also encourage companies, human resource professionals and other individuals to quickly report antitrust violations to the Department of Justice under its Corporate and Individual Leniency Policies. To learn more about the guidance, please read our client alert. Continue Reading US Federal Agencies Issue Joint Guidance for HR Professionals Warning of Criminal Liability for Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Agreements

Last month, key elements of Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016 (“Bill 132”), came into force. Employers are now required to have comprehensive policies and programs in place to address workplace harassment, along with detailed investigative procedures to be followed in response to complaints or incidents of harassment.

The latter requirement has led many employers to ask whether investigating is enough or if the employer can still be liable if the investigator gets it wrong. Continue Reading You Want Me to Do What? Guidance for the Newly-Appointed Workplace Harassment Investigator