FTR Now

As provinces begin to roll out reopening plans for non-essential businesses, the logistical challenges of implementing social distancing in some workplaces mean that many employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future. As companies consider which employees will be asked to return to the workplace, and when, the legal considerations and risks associated with work from home arrangements should be taken into account.

School Board Update

On May 8, 2020, the Ontario government filed Ontario Regulation (O. Reg.) 205/20 – Education Sector (Order) made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act which applies to all school boards within the meaning of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 in Ontario.

HR HealthCheck

In an award dated May 4, 2020, Arbitrator Stout addressed, among other things, critical aspects of the CMOH’s Directives respecting access to and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). In this HR HealthCheck, we provide an overview of this significant award (Award), a decision of notable impact to health care providers and health care workers alike, in both the Hospital and Long-Term Care sectors.

FTR Now

On March 23, 2020 Premier Doug Ford announced that effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, all non-essential businesses will be ordered to close for 14 days, and possibly longer. This order is made further to the emergency declared on March 17, 2020 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Here is what employers need to consider now.

FTR Now

On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Legislature met in an emergency session to pass legislation to extend protections for employees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 186, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 amends the leaves of absence provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) to provide more leave entitlements to employees impacted by the pandemic and to prohibit employers from requesting medical notes in relation to the new leave.

FTR Now

Today, the Ontario government announced that it will be introducing legislation to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in light of COVID-19. In addition, the federal government announced, among other things, that the Canadian border will be closed to foreign nationals, with some exceptions.

FTR Now

As we learn more about the Novel Coronavirus (2019-vCoV or Coronavirus), employers will no doubt be contemplating the potential implications of this virus on their workplaces. We have set out below some of the emerging questions that employers may have right now and our answers and guidelines for how to address these issues.

FTR Now

COVID-19 and Workplace Preparedness

· 5 min read

Health officials in Canada have stated that the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains very low. That said, in recent weeks the virus has been top of mind for many, including employers. In this FTR Now, we discuss workplace pandemic planning and operational issues employers should be anticipating in the unlikely event of an outbreak.

FTR Now

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that an employer’s work place inspection obligations under the Canada Labour Code (Code) only extend to that part of the work place over which it has physical control, and not to locations beyond its control where its employees may be engaged in work. This decision is welcome news for employers that may require employees to work outside of the employer’s physical location.

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has announced a consultation entitled “Safe at Work Ontario 2020-21.” The Ministry is seeking information and input from stakeholders in response to specific questions related to the following issues: Hazards The Ministry has identified the top 10 occupational health and safety issues and violations in the workplace. It is asking…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Ontario Health and Safety Regulations Amended

· 3 min read

On June 10, 2019, the Ontario government filed a number of amendments to regulations made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. O. Reg. 186/19 replaces the “Equivalency” provision of Regulation 851 (Industrial Establishments) with a new provision entitled “Alternative methods and materials.” It now requires employers to provide written notice to the joint health…

School Board Update

What information is a school board required to provide to its joint health and safety committee (JHSC)? Following Arbitrator Parmar’s decision earlier this year in Toronto Catholic District School Board v. Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (Grievance re Health and Safety) (Award), many unions are demanding that school boards provide additional student-related information to the JHSC. Learn more about the decision – and what your organization should consider before complying with these requests – in this School Board Update.

FTR Views

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace [Video]

· 5 min read

In this #MeToo world, it is important that employers address issues relating to sexual harassment in the workplace in a timely and proactive manner. In this video, Nadine Zacks outlines several best practices for employers, ranging from the development of robust policies to leading by example. She also discusses the importance of providing training to employees and the need to act promptly when responding to allegations of harassment.

Case In Point

In a recent decision, Rainy River (Town) v. Olsen, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the decision of an application judge which refused to grant a declaration that a resident of the Town of Rainy River had violated the Town’s workplace harassment policy when he harassed and defamed the mayor, council members and staff. The…

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Ministry of Labour has announced that from July 1 to August 31, 2017, mining inspectors, ergonomists and engineers will be conducting safety blitzes to ensure that mine employers are taking appropriate action regarding occupational disease hazards and protection of workers. The blitzes will: ensure employers are complying with occupational health and safety laws raise…

School Board Update

In this latest edition of our School Board Update, we provide you with a brief overview of the significant changes recently proposed by the Ontario government to the employment and labour laws in our province…

Minimum Standards Monitor

Recent Minimum Standards Cases of Note

· 7 min read

In this Minimum Standards Monitor, we discuss two recent cases of interest to employers. In the first, an arbitrator found that an employee returning from maternity/parental leave was not entitled to the exact same work conditions which she left, even though the original job still existed. A comparable replacement position was sufficient…

Human Resources Legislative Update

The Ontario government has announced that it will be moving forward with certain recommendations from the Workplace Violence Prevention Care Report (Report), released on May 15, 2017, to enhance safety in hospitals and to reduce incidents of workplace violence across the healthcare sector. Among other things, the government will be consulting with stakeholders on the following…

FTR Quarterly

FTR Quarterly – 2016, Issue 3

· 16 min read

This issue features; Bill 132 Workplace Sexual Harassment Legislation – What’s Next? and WSIB Rate Group Reform: Five Ways it Will Impact Your Business. The featured lawyer is Nadine S. Zacks and the featured group is Occupational Health…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On November 16, 2016, the Ontario government introduced Bill 70, Building Ontario Up for Everyone Act (Budget Measures), 2016, omnibus legislation that would, among other things, amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to provide for the establishment of employer “health and safety management systems.” Specifically, the amendments would: define “health and safety management…

Human Resources Legislative Update

Effective today, significant reforms to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) are coming into force which place additional duties on employers with respect to the prevention of workplace harassment. As previously reported, these changes were outlined in Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016

FTR Now

The Ontario government has filed two regulations mandating the content of sexual violence policies which colleges and universities must develop and implement pursuant to the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (“Act”).

Human Resources Legislative Update

On July 1, 2016, noise protection requirements will be extended to all Ontario workplaces pursuant to O. Reg. 381/15 made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The noise protection requirements currently found in the following regulations will be revoked effective July 1, 2016: Regulation 851 – Industrial Establishments (s. 139) (O. Reg. 382/15) Regulation 854…

FTR Now

On March 8, 2016, legislation addressing sexual violence and harassment was passed and received Royal Assent. As previously reported, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (“Act”) requires publicly assisted colleges and universities and private career colleges to develop a sexual violence policy and creates…

FTR Now

On March 8, 2016, legislation addressing sexual violence and harassment was passed and received Royal Assent. As previously reported, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (“Act”) creates specific duties for all employers to develop policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace,…

Human Resources Legislative Update

On March 8, 2016, the Ontario government passed Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015, as amended by the Standing Committee on Social Policy. Bill 132 amends various statutes with respect to sexual violence and harassment, domestic violence and other matters. In addition to…

FTR Now

The Metron Construction Corporation (“Metron”) project manager who oversaw the construction project on which a swing stage collapsed, resulting in the deaths of four workers and injury to a fifth, has been sentenced to 3.5 years in jail. In this FTR Now, we discuss the background to this important decision and its significance. On Christmas…

Case In Point

In a recent decision, Canada (Attorney General) v. Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the Federal Court which clarified an employer’s obligation to appoint an impartial “competent person” to investigate complaints of workplace violence. The Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (“Regulations”) require an employer to appoint…

FTR Now

On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government tabled new legislation to address sexual violence and harassment. If passed, the proposed measures in Bill 132, the Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2015 (“Act”), would, among other things, require publicly assisted colleges and universities and private career…

Case In Point

In a recent decision, R. v. ABS Machining Inc., the Ontario Court of Justice dismissed Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) charges against an employer where the injured worker’s unexpected and unauthorized act led to his injury. The decision confirms that employers can succeed in defending charges on the basis of due diligence when workers…

Case In Point

Calf-Roping Fatality Case Ends in $275,000 Fine

· 3 min read

The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has rendered a fine of $275,000 (including victim surcharge) against XI Technologies (“XI”) for its failure to ensure the safety of an employee who was fatally struck and injured while operating a faulty calf-roping machine which had been rented by the employer for use at a client event. This…

FTR Now

In a recent decision (R. v. Metron Construction Corporation, 2013 ONCA 541), the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the fine imposed by the Ontario Court of Justice in respect of four fatalities, and imposed a fine almost four times greater. As previously reported (August 20, 2012 FTR Now – “Court Imposes Criminal Code Fines For…

Case In Point

In its decision Alberta v. XI Technologies Inc., the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the conviction of XI Technologies in relation to the death of an employee who was operating a faulty calf-roping machine at an employer hosted-event, concluding that the employer failed to do all that was reasonably practicable to avoid the foreseeable risks…

News

An Appeals Officer of the Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada recently considered the damage caused to the Fukushima nuclear facility by the 2011 Japanese tsunami in the context of a work refusal under the Canada Labour Code. The appellant was a mail sorter with Canada Border Services Agency. Shortly after the Fukushima incident in…

Case In Point

The Occupational Health and Safety Tribunal Canada has found that there was insufficient evidence of radiation contamination on parcels arriving from Japan after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 to warrant a work refusal at a mail sorting facility. For a reasonable expectation of danger to exist, there must be more than hypothesis or conjecture….

Case In Point

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has found an employer violated the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) when it immediately terminated an employee instead of taking any steps whatsoever to investigate a work refusal. The employee was a probationary truck driver who had worked with the employer for three months. He felt that the truck…

News

The Ontario Court of Justice recently overturned a trial decision which convicted an employer of various infractions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, finding that numerous errors of law had been made. Of interest for employers is the Court’s conclusion an employer is not obligated to provide training to a worker regarding a specific…

Case In Point

In R. v. 679052 Ontario Limited (c.o.b. Auction Reconditioning Centre), the Ontario Court of Justice reaffirmed that active supervision of an employee is not required at all times. Moreover, where an employee is properly instructed not to do a task and the employer has no reason to believe the employee will do that task, the…

News

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently granted leave to appeal in a case which will be of interest to employers generally, to clarify the scope of their health and safety obligations, and more particularly to employers who host events at which they rent equipment for use by guests. An Alberta employer had rented a calf-roping…

Case In Point

Clearing the path for a future decision which is likely to provide further clarity on an employer’s health and safety obligations, the Alberta Court of Appeal has granted an employer’s application for leave to appeal in R. v. XI Technologies, in which it was found liable under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”)…

Case In Point

The Ontario Court of Appeal heard oral arguments in the Blue Mountain Resorts Ltd v. Ontario appeal on September 27, 2012. The issue in that case centres on the determination by the Ontario Labour Relations Board that a hotel guest’s drowning in the hotel swimming pool was reportable under the Occupational Health and Safety Act,…

FTR Now

A recent decision of the Divisional Court confirms that employers and contractors are required to report a critical injury or fatality suffered by a non-worker in the “workplace” to the Ministry of Labour, regardless of whether workers were present at the time of the occurrence. In this FTR Now we consider this decision and what…

FTR Now

On March 3, 2011, the Ontario government introduced Bill 160, the Occupational Health and Safety Statute Law Amendment Act, 2011 (“Bill 160”). The proposed Bill 160 amendments, which are intended to respond to the recommendations provided by the Expert Panel on Occupational Health and Safety, would significantly amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA“)….