Further Details Regarding Ontario’s Move to Modified Step 2 of Roadmap to Reopen

As we previously reported, effective January 5, 2022, all public health units in Ontario have been temporarily moved to modified Rules for Areas in Step 2 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen. These changes will remain in effect until at least January 26, 2022, subject to “trends in public health and health system indicators.” As a result, all public health units in the province are now subject to the conditions established by O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Step 2, as amended by O. Reg. 2/22.

Beyond COVID-19: 2021 Year in Review – Cases and Legislation of Note

Employers and human resource professionals will undoubtedly remember 2021 as another year shaped by the pandemic. But … there were also legal developments in 2021 that were not related to COVID-19. In this FTR Now, we look at some of the year’s notable “non-pandemic” cases and legislative developments of interest.

Ontario Announces Further Extension of Paid and Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leaves

On December 7, 2021, the Ontario government announced that it would be extending the program that provides eligible employees with up to three days of paid infectious disease emergency leave (Paid IDEL) until July 31, 2022 (previously set to expire December 31, 2021). The government also announced that it would be extending the temporary relief…

Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Federally Regulated Workplaces

On December 7, 2021, the federal government announced that it will propose regulations under Part II of the Canada Labour Code to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory in all federally regulated workplaces. The government stated that it will be consulting with key stakeholders on these new regulations, which it anticipates will come into force in…

Ontario Passes Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, As Amended at Committee

On November 30, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021.

The Bill will amend a number of statutes, including the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997….

Court Denies Injunction Motions and Allows Mandatory Vaccination Policies to be Implemented

The Ontario Superior Court has refused to stay the implementation of two mandatory workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies, pending the outcome of grievance arbitrations challenging the validity of those policies. On November 20, 2021, the Court rendered its decision in Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 et al v. Toronto Transit Commission and National Organized Workers Union…

Arbitrator Finds Mandatory Vaccination Policy to be Unreasonable

In this FTR Now, we review the arbitration award issued on November 11, 2021 by Arbitrator John Stout in Electrical Safety Authority and Power Workers’ Union, in which he assessed the reasonableness of an employer’s mandatory vaccination policy. In the specific context of the workplace, and its associated workplace dangers and hazards arising from COVID-19…

Ontario Introduces Legislation to Protect Pension Plan Whistle-blowers

On November 4, 2021, the Ontario government introduced Bill 43, Build Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021 (Bill 43) for first reading. Among other things, Bill 43 includes proposed amendments to the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario Act, 2016 (FSRA Act) to include protections for whistle-blowers in the pension sector and the other sectors regulated…

Supreme Court of Canada Concludes Arbitrators Can Have Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Human Rights Claims

In Northern Regional Health Authority v. Horrocks, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the Manitoba Human Rights Commission (Commission) did not hold concurrent jurisdiction over a human rights dispute involving a unionized workplace. Rather, a labour arbitrator held exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute.     In this FTR Now, we provide a summary of Horrocks…

Ontario Proposes Significant Changes to ESA and Other Employment-Related Legislation

On October 25, 2021, the Ontario government tabled Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, omnibus legislation which, if passed, would make significant amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). These include requiring employers with 25 or more employees to have a policy on disconnecting from work, prohibiting employers and employees from entering into…