Federal Government Extends COVID-19 Leaves under Canada Labour Code

On March 31, 2021, the federal government published regulations amending the Canada Labour Standards Regulations made under the Canada Labour Code to increase the length of the existing federal COVID-19 leaves. These changes took effect on March 15, 2021.  Therefore, employees in federally regulated workplaces continue to be entitled to the following two job-protected unpaid…

Ontario Tables 2021 Budget

On March 24, 2021, the Ontario government tabled its 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy (Budget), and introduced supporting implementation legislation, Bill 269, Protecting the People of Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2021.   In this FTR Now, we highlight certain aspects of the Budget that are of broad interest to…

Arbitrator Rules That Virtual Class Prep Time Arrangement Violates Collective Agreement

On March 5, 2021, Arbitrator Susan Stewart released an award (Award) between the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (Board) and ETFO dealing with preparation time (prep time) for remote learning elementary teachers in its virtual classes during the current 2020-21 school year. The grievance alleged that the Board had failed to provide prep time in…

Accessibility Standards Canada Publishes Guidelines for COVID-19 and Other Emergencies

On March 11, 2021, Accessibility Standards Canada updated its resources page to provide accessibility guidelines for COVID-19 or other emergencies. These guidelines offer practical information for persons with disabilities, including employees, and employers on a range of topics that are highlighted below. Accessible practices for returning to the workplace addresses accessibility barriers that may exist…

Appellate Court Considers Contractual Rights Upon Termination in Light of Ocean Nutrition and Affirms Original Decision

In Mikelsteins v. Morrison Hershfield Limited, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed its earlier finding that an employee’s common law entitlements upon termination of employment are distinct from any rights the employee may have under a shareholder agreement where they have purchased the shares separate and apart from their compensation structure.      Background In June…

Debate Regarding Regulatory Obligations for Kindergarten Class Size Caps Now Resolved in Favour of School Boards

For 20 years, beginning in 1997, school boards and teachers’ federations agreed that class size limits pertaining to elementary school students needed to be met only by and on a “determination date” identified in the first half of the fall term. Following the negotiation of its 2017 Extension Agreement and an associated Letter of Commitment from the Crown, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) challenged this mutual understanding in two related arbitrations. Two arbitration awards and one judicial review later, the issue has now been definitively resolved – in favour of the school boards’ interpretation and the continuation of the historical compliance system.

Ontario Ends Declared Emergency and Resumes Regional Approach to Pandemic Management

On February 8, 2021, the Ontario government announced that the declared emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act would be terminated at the end of day, February 9, 2021. It also announced that it would be gradually resuming its regional approach to managing the pandemic that was previously in effect. While most regions of the province will remain in a shutdown, three public health regions have been moved to lesser restrictions.

Changes Proposed to Sexual Harassment and Violence Policies of Colleges, Universities and Private Career Colleges

On January 27, 2021, the Ontario government announced proposed changes to the sexual harassment and violence policies of colleges, universities and private career colleges. These policies are required by legislation. The government states the proposed changes are designed to increase campus safety and to encourage victims to report instances of sexual violence and harassment without…

Federal Government Announces Temporary Waiver of EI Waiting Period

On January 29, 2021, the federal government announced that it will be amending the Employment Insurance (EI) regulations to temporarily waive the one-week waiting period for EI claimants who establish a new claim between January 31, 2021 and September 25, 2021. This change is in response to the ongoing restrictions on businesses arising out of…