Category Archives: Employment Law

Blogs and comments on general Employee relations topics

Is Attendance Management Confusing You?

Thank you to my reader who asked questions regarding the confusing world of Attendance Management programs.  These programs are tricky to navigate because of Human Rights concerns so employers need to use caution when using discipline for absences. 1. Mandated Leaves of Absence – If your workers use the Leave provisions from the Employment Standards Act, these absences cannot be subject to disciplinary action.  There is a limited exception with regard to Personal Emergency Leave in that the absent employee must be able to provide “proof that is reasonable in the circumstances” to show entitlement to the leave.  Failure to Continue Reading »

What Does “Protected Leave” Mean?

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and/or the Human Rights Code, employees are entitled to “protected” leaves of absences. Some examples are Personal Emergency Leave days, Maternity/Parental leave and Compassionate Leaves. “Protected” leave simply means that if an employee exercises their right to take one of these leaves, their right to return to their current job and wage are protected under law. This simply means that if an employee is off, the employer can’t make significant detrimental changes to the job or wage that the employee had when they went off work. Are there “unprotected leaves”? Yes! For example, in Continue Reading »

Have You Heard of the Special Rule Tool?

There are some workers in Ontario whose jobs are subject to “Special Rules” under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). These jobs, due to the nature of the work performed, usually do not conform easily to the minimum standards provided in the ESA, so these rules were developed to ensure fairness and protection for both employer and worker, to the greatest extent possible. Some examples of these “Special Rules” are the lower minimum wage paid to wait staff who serve alcohol, exceptions to the limits on hours of work and rest periods for most farm and agricultural workers, and no “notice Continue Reading »

When to Ask for Doctor’s Notes

So your employee has used a “sick” day or Personal Emergency leave. Are you allowed to ask for a doctor’s note? Yes you are. But, as with all things HR, some discretion should be used. A little trust and respect can go a long way to keeping your employees happy. Also, if the employer is going to insist that the employee provide a doctor’s note, the employer is required to cover the cost of the fee for obtaining that note. The reasoning behind the requirement for a doctor’s note is to establish documentation for those employees who like to “play Continue Reading »

Using Bluetooth in Cars Risks Privacy Breach

A funny thing happened on the way to the store yesterday. I was at a stoplight, and the man in the car next to me proceeded to take advantage of the pause to begin a phone conversation using his Bluetooth app in his car. Quite legal, as he was using hands-free and all that…. but I could hear every word of his conversation, until the light changed and he got ahead of me in traffic. Bluetooth uses your car speakers, and they are close to the outside of the car. Names were mentioned and overheard… situations I shouldn’t know about Continue Reading »