Category Archives: Doctor’s Notes and Sick Leave

Blogs on topics related to injury and illness in the workplace; employer and employee rights and responsibilities for the process.

Hidden Types of “Impairment” at Work

Being “impaired” can be caused by a number of different reasons, not just alcohol or cannabis.  It is important to recognize these issues so that everyone has a safe and healthy workplace.   No matter what the cause, if the employee will be “impaired” at work, they are legally required to disclose this information to their employer. Some examples of “hidden” impairment include: Sleep deprivation: The worker stays up till 3am watching the tied World Series game, and their shift starts at 7am.  The person would be impaired by lack of sleep and not able to focus on operating machinery or cognitive Continue Reading »

What do “Fit for Duty” and “Safety Sensitive” Really Mean?

“Fit for Duty” policies are getting a lot of attention these days, and I am finding that a lot of employers and workers are confused about this terminology and how to apply it in the context of “Safety Sensitive” work. Fit for Duty means that a worker is able to safely perform their assigned duties without any limitations resulting from, but not limited to: the use or after-effects of Drugs, Alcohol, and/or medications. Impaired means “the condition of being less than fully functional to perform the tasks at hand” or “being under the influence of drugs or alcohol”  A Safety-Sensitive Position Continue Reading »

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 »

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 »