Non-Medical Accommodations in the Workplace

Non-Medical Accommodations in the workplace are complex, and it is very important that you understand and respect your employee’s rights. Every situation is unique, and employers are entitled to “proof that is reasonable in the circumstances” to grant these accommodations.  Employers must work with the affected employee(s) to ensure that their right to accommodation is preserved, but also ensuring that the operational needs of the employer are met. This can be a delicate balancing act. Religious accommodation includes allowing time to pray during the workday, giving alternate days off for observation of religious holidays, and working with employees in “safety-sensitive” Continue Reading »

Changes to Personal Emergency Leave

I have received a lot of queries regarding the new Personal Emergency Leave days being proposed by the Ontario Government in “Bill 47“. Yes, employers will be allowed to ask for doctor’s notes when workers take sick days, starting January 1 2019! The PEL provisions have been reduced from 10 days to 8.  Workers will now receive 3 unpaid “sick” days, 3 unpaid “family responsibility” days and 2 unpaid “bereavement” days. Currently, these PEL days are considered to be separate entities, meaning that if a worker uses their 3 sick days but not the 2 bereavement days, and then needs Continue Reading »

Changes Coming to Trade and Apprenticeship Act (Finally!)

Premier Ford’s new “Open for Business Act” is making changes to the labour laws in Ontario, and finally those changes are going to be welcome news for our tradespeople. Under Schedule 3 of “Bill 47”  (you will need to scroll to the bottom of the document) the Premier is proposing to change the ratio of Apprentices to Journey persons to one-to-one  wherever possible. The new law will allow some trades to retain a higher ratio if needed for safety or other sound reasons. In addition, changes will be made to the authority and structure of the Ontario College of Trades, Continue Reading »

The “Open For Business Act” – What is Changing?

Just as we were getting used to “Bill 148” (the Fair Workplaces Act), now the Ford government has come out with Bill 47, the “Open for Business: Removing Burdens While Protecting Workers Act”. There are many components to the bill, one deals with the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act, while another deals with changes to Apprenticeship .  Today we will talk about the ESA changes, and next blog will deal with the OLRA and Apprenticeship. Here are the Employment Standards changes being proposed: Minimum Wage: Minimum wage will remain at $14.00/hour, until at least October 2020 and then future increases Continue Reading »

Clearing the Air Part 2 – Cannabis At Work

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion regarding “where and when and who” can consume Cannabis at work.  It is important to remember that Recreational use is a separate entity from Medicinal use, and that Medicinal use is protected under Human Rights Legislation, making it harder to enforce “property-wide” smoking bans. Recreational use is not permitted at work, as this falls into the same category as alcohol.  Employers are permitted to discipline workers (make sure you have a good policy in place!) according to company policy on impairment. Medicinal use, as mentioned, is protected under Human Rights. If your Continue Reading »