Workplace Organization & Direction

In a recent blog post, we wrote about Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act which seeks to amend Ontario’s existing employment standards and labour relations legislation. Since then, Bill 148 has continued to move through the legislative process with committee hearings being held throughout the summer to discuss further changes to the Bill before it may be passed into law.

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs met on August 21, 2017. A number of proposals were put forward. The following is a summary of the motions that were passed and will be incorporated into Bill 148. Continue Reading Bill 148: Standing Committee Meeting Signals Changes to ESA & LRA Amendments

If you are a professional sports fan…you know what time of year it is. September 8th is the first day of the NFL season. In three weeks’ time the MLB playoffs will start. The world cup of hockey starts soon. The NHL season begins shortly thereafter. US College football season is already in full force.

If you are not… you might be asking so what? What does this have to do with employment law? What does this have to do with my workplace? Continue Reading Happy September! What are the odds that your employees aren’t gambling at work?

The following article, authored by my colleagues Susan F. Eandi, Louise Balsan and Caroline Burnett, examines the importance of global employment handbooks and why multinationals cannot simply rely on their domestic handbook as they expand abroad. The authors present three primary approaches for multinationals to consider as they prepare their global handbooks. Although written in the context of U.S. multinationals, many of the principles discussed in the article have application to Canadian multinationals as well.

Continue Reading Global Employment Handbooks: 1 Size Does Not Fit All

Until recently, about the only workplaces where employers had to worry about noise levels were factories, mines and oil rigs.

That all changed December 9th of last year when Regulation 381/15 was approved. Set to take effect July 1, 2016, the regulation extends noise protection requirements to the following workplaces:

  • farming operations,
  • construction projects,
  • health care facilities,
  • schools,
  • fire services,
  • police services, and
  • amusement parks

Continue Reading Turning it Down: A New Noise Regulation for Ontario

On January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS“) heard oral arguments in Freidrichs v California Teachers Association. If questions from the bench are any indication of the Court’s perspective on the matter, public sector unions in the United States may be in trouble.

Freidrichs considers whether California State law requiring non-union members to pay “agency fees” violates the first amendment right to freedom of speech. Agency fees are charged to cover the cost of services performed by the union on behalf of all employees – in particular, collective bargaining activities.

Continue Reading What if I Don’t Want to Join the Club: Skepticism Rising on Mandatory (Public) Union Fees

Back by popular demand, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2015: Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2015

With the holiday season in full swing, many employers are in the process of planning their office holiday parties.  Holding a social event is a great way to celebrate the holiday season and to thank employees for their hard work. Unfortunately, employers face the risk of liability should an employee be permitted to drink too much and/or engage in inappropriate behavior at a work-related function. There is the added risk of safety-related liability should that intoxicated employee drive home and injure themselves or an innocent third party. Luckily, there are simple and effective ways to reduce these risks.

While it is someone else’s job to make sure there is enough eggnog and to pick the band, it is our job to remind you to take proactive steps when planning your holiday celebration. Here are some tips for hosting a safe and successful office holiday party, while reducing the risk of a multi-million dollar lawsuit.

Continue Reading Holiday Cheer Without Legal Fear – Tips to Keep Your Holiday Office Party Lawsuit Free

Franchisors who place strict controls on their franchisees may also have to answer for their franchisee’s human rights practices.

Product and service consistency is the backbone of coffee giant Tim Hortons’ successful business model. Tim Hortons, like many other successful franchisors, imposes a strict regime on its stores in order to ensure that all Canadians can get the same cup of coffee, in the same cup, regardless of where they order it. Control manifests itself through an extensive franchise agreement, detailed operations rules and regular audits of individual stores.

Continue Reading Is the price of a consistent cup of coffee shared human rights liability?

October 19, 2015 is federal election day.  Under the Canada Elections Act, employees who are eligible to vote are entitled to three consecutive hours of time off to vote without a reduction in pay. The three consecutive hours must fall within the open hours of local polling stations, which are as follows:

Electoral District Time Zone Voting Hours
Newfoundland and Atlantic Time Zones 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Eastern Time Zone 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Central Time Zone* 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Mountain Time Zone* 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Pacific Time Zone 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Continue Reading Employee Voting Entitlements on Federal Election Day (October 19, 2015)

Our U.S. colleagues recently wrote a great piece about the long-awaited and much-debated decision of the National Labour Relations Board (the “NLRB”) in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, 362 NLRB No. 186,  (“Browning-Ferris”) which has dramatically changed the concept of “joint employment” south of the border.  U.S. employers who – on the basis of 30 years of NLRB precedent – have operated on the basis that workers supplied by temporary staffing agencies were not their employees should take heed.  The rules have changed and employers will need to adapt.  Readers who want a purely U.S. analysis of this landmark case can link to it here. Continue Reading Meet the New Boss…. Same as the Old Boss? Temporary Workers and Joint Employment in the U.S. and Canada