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Andrew Shaw has a general and diverse labour and employment practice. Andrew 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. Andrew 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, Andrew 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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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The issue of patient confidentiality has come to the forefront for healthcare organizations after a number of recent privacy breaches in Ontario hospitals have come to light, including hospital staff improperly accessing the medical records of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

It is generally accepted that patients seeking healthcare, treatment or advice should be able to expect that their personal information will be kept confidential, and that it will only be disclosed as necessary for their care. Given the sensitive nature of such information, the Government of Ontario passed the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (the “Act”), which provides both guidance to healthcare professionals and peace of mind to patients.

When it first came into force ten years ago, the Act was Canada’s first consent-based health statute. In the years following its enactment, the Act has been highlighted as a model for personal health information laws in Canada and the United States. Moving forward, employers in healthcare settings must continue to be cognizant of the Act’s requirements, as well as its application in our increasingly digital and interconnected age. The increased use of electronic health records and digital record-sharing systems, for example, may require employers to take additional precautions in the future. The modernization of healthcare provision will necessitate the modernization of privacy policies.
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In Evans v Bank of Nova Scotia, an employee of the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Bank”), Richard Wilson, provided highly confidential information about the Bank’s customers to his girlfriend, who disseminated the information to third parties for fraudulent purposes.  On June 6, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class action brought on behalf of the affected customers, alleging that they were victims of identity theft and fraud as a result of the intrusion upon seclusion.

This is the province’s first-ever class action involving the new tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, which allows individuals to advance a civil claim for damages against an intruder who intentionally invades their privacy, without legal justification, in a manner that is highly offensive to the reasonable person.
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