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Posts tagged: employment law updates

Bill 148 (aka Wynne government changes to the Employment Standards Act) Bites the Dust

By , October 25, 2018 9:31 am

On Tuesday afternoon, the Ford government tabled legislation Bill 47 – Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 which will repeal some of the recent changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and eliminate new statutory obligations that are scheduled to be imposed on employers on January 1, 2019.

Although Bill 47 must go through the legislative process, the Ford government has a majority of seats in the Ontario legislature so I expect the changes will take effect on January 1, 2019 when many of the Bill 148 changes are scheduled to become law.

Roll backs

The two paid personal emergency leave days that were introduced by the Wynne government in the past year will be eliminated.

The public holiday pay calculation for part-time employees that was in effect before Bill 148 will become law again.

Equal pay for equal work for substantially the same work regardless of employment status will be repealed. So there will generally be no obligation to pay part-time employees the same rate as full-time employees for performing substantially the same work.

The prohibition for asking an employee for a doctor’s note to prove sickness will be repealed.

The presumption that a person is an employee as opposed to an independent contractor if an individual claims he or she is an employee will be eliminated.

Pending laws that will not take effect

The minimum wage will not increase to $ 15 per hour on January 1, 2019, as scheduled, and there will be no cost of living increase in the minimum wage until October 2020.

The new scheduling rules will not take effect.

The new on call pay rules will not take effect.

An employee’s right to request changes in work hours or work location will not take effect.

An employee’s right to refuse scheduling changes with less than 4 days notice will not take effect.

The requirement to provide an employee with 3 hours pay if a shift is cancelled with less than 48 hours will not take effect.

Changes to the Employment Standards Act

The ten days personal emergency leave will be eliminated under Bill 47 and replaced with three days Sick Leave, three days Family Responsibility Leave, and two days Bereavement Leave for a total of eight days. These eight days are unpaid.

Bill 47 also includes changes to the Labour Relations Act, and the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act.

A bill is often sent to a committee after Second Reading and Bill 47 could change after that process, but I doubt there will be any changes to this bill. But stay tuned; I will provide updates on this proposed employment law as we get closer to January 1, 2019.

For almost 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

Is Your Organization Compliant with AODA? It Should Be. Here’s Why

By , November 27, 2017 5:29 pm

Did you know that employers with 20 or more employees are required to file a report with the Ontario government confirming they have complied with their obligations under the Accessibility with Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) by December 31, 2017?

Employment Standard

This regulation under AODA applies to all employers. It  requires an employer to comply with at least nine (9) new obligations such as notifying job applicants that, where needed, accommodations for disabilities will be provided, on request.

Employers with 50 or more employees have two additional obligations including the duty to prepare a written individual accommodation plan for every disabled employee who has requested an accommodation for a disability.

Customer Service

This regulation under AODA requires all employers to, among other things, provide customer service training to employees.

An employer with 50 or more employees is required to prepare written customer service accessibility policies.

Multi Year Accessibility Plan

An employer with 50 or more employees is required to  establish, implement, maintain and document a multi-year accessibility plan. This plan outlines the organization’s strategy to prevent and remove barriers and meet its requirements under the Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation.

Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse

Many employers are not aware of their obligations under AODA, and have therefore not complied with them, and do not know about the obligation to inform the Ontario government that they have complied with their obligations under AODA by December 31, 2017.

Fixed Fee AODA Compliance Service

The MacLeod Law Firm has developed a fixed fee service that will get an employer into compliance with AODA before the December 31, 2017 reporting deadline. A description of this service is found here

If you have questions about this service, please contact Nadia Halum at [email protected], or Doug MacLeod at 416 317-9894.

For 30 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly at 416 317-9894 or at [email protected]

The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.

Top 10 Employment Law Stories of 2014

By , December 9, 2014 2:02 am

The end of the year is nigh…

And Ontario looks a little bit different…at least, from an employment law perspective.

More and more, Canadians are taking legal matters into their own hands and 2014 gave employees the power to do so in a faster way than ever before.

As mental health issues are becoming more common in the workforce, human rights laws are changing to reflect this reality. A key word this year: disability…who’s got one?

John Ghomeshi. Well, at the very least, he got the world talking about sexual assault and the importance of introducing and enforcing sexual harassment policies in the work place.

Money, money, money. Just when you think you can estimate damages fairly accurately, the Court of Appeal awards damages that you never saw coming…

Here is a list of 10 cases that changed the employment law landscape in 2014:

1. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act continues to impose new obligations on Ontario employers. As of January 1, 2014, most private sector employer organizations with 50 or more employees were required to establish, implement, maintain, document and post a multi-year accessibility plan. For more information, click here

2. Later in January, the Supreme Court of Canada made it much easier to bring a summary judgment motion to decide wrongful dismissal cases where just cause is not alleged when it released the Hryniak v. Mauldin decision. There have been several wrongful dismissal cases decided by summary judgment since this case was released. For more information on this case, click here

3. In April, the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal concluded that sections of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Actwere found to be unconstitutional because this law treats workers with mental disabilities differently than workers with physical disabilities. I believe this will result in more claims from employees who are unable to work because of mental illness that is caused by work. For more information on this decision, click here

4. In May, the Federal Court of Appeal released a decision involving Fiona Johnstone, which sets out a four-part test that an employee must satisfy when seeking family status accommodation. This kind of case usually arises when an employee asks to have her hours of work modified to accommodate the employee’s childcare obligations. For more information, click here.

5. Later in May, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a large damage award against Walmart. In particular, The OCA ordered Walmart to pay $200,000 Wallace damages, $ 100, 000 in punitive damages, $100,000 tort damages, constructive dismissal damages, and legal fees. This decision surprised many employment lawyers given the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays. We believe this case will result in more employees claiming higher damages in wrongful dismissal cases. . For more information about the Walmart case, click here.

6. Also in June 2014 the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a new comprehensive policy entitled: “Policy on preventing discrimination based on mental health disabilities and addictions.” It does not have the force of law but the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (tribunal) must consider it if one of the parties before the Tribunal asks it to do so. Disability complaints comprise over 50% of all employment related complaints and the number of mental disability claims is rising so we expect this will become an influential policy. For more information on this policy, click here.

7.As of July 1, 2014 almost all employees were required to provide mandatory health and safety training to almost all employees. For more information on this training, click here.

8. In late October, the C.B.C. fired Jian Ghomeshi. It generated a national conversation about sexual assault and sexual harassment. For a discussion on the legal issues raised by this case, click here. For a discussion on the legal issues raised by the appointment of an outside investigator, click here.

9. On October 29, 2014 three new unpaid leaves were added to the Employment Standards Act including the family caregiver leave which provides for up to 8 weeks unpaid leave each year to care for certain family members with a “serious medical condition”. We expect this new leave coupled with the Fiona Johnstone case mentioned above will result in scheduling and staffing challenges for employers, particularly small employers. For more information on these leaves, click here

10. In November 20, 2014 Bill 18 received Royal Assent. When it takes effect on February 20, 2015 it will, among other things, tie the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index, expand the definition of “worker” under the Occupational Health & Safety Act, and remove the $ 10 000 cap on damages that can be awarded by an employment standards officer under the Employment Standards Act. We believe these changes will increase the costs associated with co-op students, interns and volunteers. We also believe this new law will result in more employees seeking termination pay and severance pay from the Ministry of Labour instead of seeking wrongful dismissal damages from the courts. For more information on Bill 18, click here.

 

For the past 25 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers and employees on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at [email protected]

 

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