Photo of Jordan Kirkness

Jordan Kirkness advises and represents employers in all areas of labour and employment law. Jordan is experienced in litigation, negotiation, and compliance, and he is committed to identifying the most practical, cost-effective and permanent solution in each case. Before joining Baker McKenzie in 2013, Jordan practiced at a large, full-service firm in Vancouver. He has been called to the bar in both British Columbia and Ontario, and he regularly represents employers with operations in multiple Canadian jurisdictions.

The National Assembly of Quebec has made wide-ranging changes to the province’s labour standards legislation. The amendments were enacted through Bill 176, An Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance, which received Royal Assent on June 12, 2018. Employers with operations in Ontario and Alberta, should also be aware that these provinces also made significant changes to their respective employment standards legislation earlier this year.

This is the first of two articles summarizing the key changes in Quebec. This article outlines changes to the scope of liability for directors and officers and new compliance obligations for Quebec employers. The second article will outline changes to leave entitlements. Continue Reading Quebec Makes Broad Changes to its Workplace Standards

In Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board  (“Grand Erie “), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) held that statutory provisions permitting employers to reduce or discontinue employees’ benefits after they reach age 65 is discriminatory and contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter “). Consequently, employers should review their benefits plans, and consider whether it may be necessary to adjust or eliminate such age-based distinctions. Continue Reading HRTO Rules Legislation Permitting Different or No Benefits For Employees 65+ is Unconstitutional

The Ontario Government is abandoning its current method for calculating public holiday pay which came into effect under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 (“Bill 148”). Employers will need to revert back to the previous calculation method, although this reversal is only temporary. Ontario plans to introduce yet another calculation method following a review of the public holiday system, which is proposed to occur later this year. Continue Reading Ontario Reverts Back to Previous Public Holiday Pay Calculation (For Now)

The Ontario government has passed Bill 3, Pay Transparency Act, 2018. The Act imposes requirements on employers to promote equality of compensation between men and women, and to increase the transparency of information regarding compensation and workforce composition. The Act is set to come into force on January 1, 2019. Continue Reading Pay Transparency Obligations Coming But Not Until January 1, 2019

On April 1, 2018, employers in Ontario will be subject to the new equal pay provisions under the Employment Standards Act  (“ESA”) brought in by Bill 148. As a general rule, employers can no longer establish distinct pay rates based on a “difference in employment status”, defined as follows: Continue Reading Compliance Check: Do Your Pay Rates Comply with Bill 148?

This is the final article in our three-part series on recent changes to Alberta’s labour and employment legislation. Here we outline changes to Alberta’s occupational health and safety (“OHS”) and workers’ compensation legislation resulting from Bill 30: An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans. Continue Reading Alberta Strengthens Workplace Safety Legislation

Last week, the Ontario government announced its intention to introduce pay transparency legislation – see our article on the announcement here.  Bill 203, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018 has now been introduced. The newly proposed legislation is consistent with the Ontario government’s press release. In particular, it proposes to impose the following requirements on employers:

  • a salary rate or range must be stated in all publicly advertised job postings;
  • job candidates may not be asked about their past compensation;
  • no reprisals may be made against employees who discuss or disclose compensation; and
  • certain employers must track and report compensation gaps based on gender and/or other diversity characteristics (in “pay transparency reports”).

Bill 203 also sets out in greater detail the proposed pay transparency requirements. In particular: Continue Reading Ontario Unveils Pay Transparency Legislation

The government of Ontario announced today that it will introduce new legislation to require certain employers to track and publish their compensation information. The proposed legislation is part of the province’s initiative to advance women’s economic status and create more equitable workplaces (the initiative is titled “Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment”). Today’s announcement comes on the heels of last week’s budget plan in which the federal government outlined proposed proactive pay equity legislation that would apply to federally regulated employers – see here for our article on the proposed federal legislation. Continue Reading Ontario Introducing New Pay Transparency Legislation

This is the second article in our three-part series highlighting recent changes to Alberta’s labour and employment legislation.  Here we focus on changes to Alberta’s labour relations regime. As a result of recent enactments, a number of significant changes to Alberta’s Labour Relations Code (“LRC”) are now in effect, as outlined below. Continue Reading Card-Based Certification and Other Key Changes to the Alberta Labour Relations Code