Human Resource Issues can be Challenging for Volunteer Boards

Blog Post
November 14, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

Human resource (‘HR’) issues can be challenging for volunteer Boards of not-for-profit and condominium corporations. Depending on directors’ knowledge of HR matters, and the extent to which the corporation seeks specialized legal advice, there is a risk that a Board’s HR decision could result in a letter from an employee’s lawyer and potential liability for the corporation.

Litigating Human Rights in Court or at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario

Blog Post
October 31, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

On June 30, 2008, amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code (‘the Code’) came into force that allow human rights damages under the Code to be dealt with either as civil claims before the courts or as applications before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). This change offered strategic flexibility and increased settlement options to victims of discrimination. However, despite the passage of 5 years since the amendments took effect, there have been no court decisions awarding damages under the Code.

Terminating Older Workers

Blog Post
October 3, 2013
Read Time: 3 minutes

In Canada, we have an aging workforce, and have been experiencing a period of economic downturn at the same time that mandatory retirement has come to an end. In addition, we have seen an increase in foreign ownership employers, who may not fully understand Canadian laws and workplace cultures. These factors have led to noticeable trends in how employers are dealing with terminations, especially those related to long service employees. The overall impact is that older workers are being unceremoniously shown the door after many years of faithful service.

Disappointing Decision for Federally Regulated Employees

Blog Post
September 19, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

The relatively commonly held belief that the unjust dismissal provisions of the Canada Labour Code were intended to provide quasi union like protections for non-unionized employees has been turned on its head by the Federal Court, to the pleasure of employers and to the chagrin of employees.

Accommodation: It’s Not a New Idea, But it Still Gets People Into Trouble

Blog Post
September 12, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

Employers have to accommodate people under Canadian human rights laws. The only exception is where doing so would be an undue hardship. This isn’t news, or at least it shouldn’t be, but employees are still being told their particular circumstances are too much trouble for an employer to deal with.

Bring your own Device to Work – Increased Flexibility but at what Cost

Blog Post
August 27, 2013
Read Time: 3 minutes

There is an increasing trend in the workplace, where employees bring their own devices (BYOD), usually smart phones or tablets, to work. In an era of cost savings and unprecedented rates of change in technology, employers are likely to view BYOD as an appealing way to lower costs. Employees want the flexibility of using the latest technology to do their jobs more efficiently while multi-tasking chores like personal banking and staying connected with their lives outside of work.

Out with the Old and In with the New – A Losing Strategy in the Workplace

Blog Post
July 31, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

Rejuvenation may be a good tactic for a government trying to attract young voters and win an election, but it is a guaranteed losing strategy in the workplace. An employer setting out to freshen up the workplace by getting rid of older workers would quickly find itself the subject of a human rights complaint.