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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law
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    After examining Canada’s international labour obligations, Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench, has confirmed that section 2(d) of the Charter (the freedom to associate) includes the right to strike. This is something the courts have historically refused to admit in their decisions.

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    Last year, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench concluded that amendments to the Essential Services Act impeded workers from exercising their fundamental freedom of association, which includes the right to associate and organize, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to strike. Relying on a decision of the International Labour Organization, the Court found that the Act completely and utterly violated section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court gave the government one year to amend the legislation, but instead, it appealed the ruling. On April 26, 2013, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld amendments to the Essential Services Act and ruled that whether or not the Charter protects a right to strike is a matter that should be left to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide.

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    The Supreme Court of Canada in Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan confirmed once and for all that the right to strike is protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


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    In a surprising move, the Supreme Court of Canada overturned its own precedent and found that the right to strike was protected under the Charter.


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    Bill 183, The Saskatchewan Employment (Essential Services) Amendment Act, 2015, proposes a new Part VII in the Employment Act, entitled Essential Services. The Bill is currently in third reading.


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    Justice Firestone of the Ontario Superior Court recently decided that back–to–work legislation introduced in 2011 aimed at striking postal workers from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers was an unjustified violation of the Union’s rights to freedom of association and expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As a result, the judge retroactively declared the legislation of no force or effect.

    The post Back-to-work postal legislation found in violation of Charter rights appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Employee morale and employee retention go hand in hand. If employees do not feel motivated at work, they will most likely start to look for a new job elsewhere. Tracking employee morale is essential for measuring retention rates within a company. The only precise way to measure employee morale is fairly easy: ask the employees directly.

    The post Employee motivation is the key to higher retention rates appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Join Stringer LLP and First Reference at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga on June 20, 2017 at the Ontario Employment Law Conference to Learn the Latest® on the following topics from top Ontario employment law experts: Jeremy Schwartz will discuss the increasingly important topic of structuring your work relationships with independent […]

    The post The agenda for the 2017 Ontario Employment Law Conference is now available appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Including a probationary period clause in an employment contract is not a good idea unless your organization is prepared to assess the suitability of the employee during the probationary period. Failure to do so can result in your organization being ordered to provide a probationary employee with common law reasonable notice of termination. This blog discusses one such case.

    The post Probationary period clause gets employer into hot water appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new executive order (the “New Order”), implementing a new travel ban. However, unlike the original travel ban (which became effective immediately), the New Order will become effective at 12:01 am EDT, on March 16, 2017. This 10–day delay is intended to provide sufficient time for affected parties (including international airlines and government agencies) to prepare for the ban, in an attempt to avoid the same confusion caused by the original travel ban.

    The post President Trump’s new travel ban: What you need to know appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Given the elimination of mandatory retirement years ago, employees are working for longer periods of time and well into their 60s and some into their 70s. Age has always been one of the key Bardal factors, in addition to title, length of service and compensation, that courts use to determine an appropriate common law notice period. In the recent case of Ozorio v. Canadian Hearing Society, 2016 ONSC 5440, Justice O’Marra confirmed that an employee’s age remains a significant factor in determining a common law notice period.

    The post Employee’s age justifies wrongful dismissal damages of 24 months appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Canada Revenue Agency form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment; clarification on the definition of "critical injury" in Regulation 834 under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; and the issue of corporate structure and employment standards obligations.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    When an employee is terminated without cause and offered a package that is very modest, but otherwise compliant with the employment contract, a common first step for his or her lawyer will be to see if the contract can be set aside. If the contract can be declared void, the employee can try to pursue the typically much greater common law damages. There are several grounds upon which courts have set aside either the full contract or at the least, the termination provision. This blog post will focus on the issue of signing the contract prior to the start date.

    The post Contract enforceability: Signing the employment contract prior to the start date appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The relationship between employee alcohol use and work is complex. In Ontario, there are specific legal obligations which apply, and employers must exercise caution. Without a proper understanding of their legal obligations, employers face a minefield which may unwittingly result in unwanted liability.

    The post Business and booze: Dealing with alcohol in the workplace appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    A recent BC Supreme Court decision finding a fast food employee was wrongfully dismissed and entitled to aggravated damages has been making newspaper headlines across the country. Ms. Ram had worked as a cook in various Burger King locations for 24 years, and was terminated for just cause after taking home a fish sandwich, fries and a drink at the end of her shift without paying for them. Ms. Ram's claim was heard over a seven day trial, resulting in a lengthy decision.

    The post Fast food firing leads to aggravated damages appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    Many employers find it necessary to assess new employees’ performance on the job before making a final determination about whether an individual is suitable for a position. In the absence of an express term in an employment contract, employees in Canada are entitled to reasonable notice of termination at common law when they are dismissed without just cause. Many employers put terms in their employment contracts, such as probationary clauses, which limit this entitlement. However, employers may not always be clear on the implications of such clauses.

    The post Probationary clauses: A double-edged sword for employers appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.

    The post Family status: The employee’s obligation under “the Code” appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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    The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee who was dismissed for not submitting a doctor's note in a timely fashion; a firefighter who was reinstated after being dismissed for sexually harassing a co–worker; and human rights claims, made by a former employee, that were barred by terms of a final release received on termination.

    The post Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk appeared first on First Reference Talks.


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  • 03/23/17--14:14: Federal Budget 2017-18
  • On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government's Federal Budget 2017, Building a Strong Middle Class, which includes various measures affecting payroll, and an abundant amount of measures that would be of interest to employers, including the extension of maternity leave to 18 months, the electronic distribution of T4 information slips, and the elimination of various tax credits.

    The post Federal Budget 2017-18 appeared first on First Reference Talks.