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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Expect the unexpected: Employees (and Rob Ford) on sick leave

I spent much of this past weekend poring over the news associated with Rob Ford’s departure from the Toronto mayoral race due to ill health. Despite feeling sympathy for Mr. Ford and wishing him a speedy recovery, there were voters and columnists who spoke of their disappointment at being deprived of the opportunity to cast

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“One of these days, someone is going to knock that attitude out of you!”

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, in a decision dated September 5, 2012, found that Paul Lombardi had suffered harassment in the workplace and that his dismissal from employment due to fighting was discriminatory. The Ontario Divisional court in Walton v. Lombardi, 2013 ONSC 4218 set aside that decision. The Court ruled that there was

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The cost of discrimination and harassment: $65,000.00; the cost of a failure to investigate: $6000.00; legal lessons learned … Priceless.

In the recent case of Islam v. Big Inc., 2013 HRTO 2009 (CanLII), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled that a Toronto restaurant, Le Papillion on the Park (the employer), created a poisoned work environment by: a)  forcing three Muslim restaurant workers to eat pork despite knowing that it was against their religious beliefs

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Unhappy holidays! The hangover, the law suit and the human rights complaint

The holiday season is full of cheer, celebration, hangovers…and legal implications for employers.  Canadian courts have established that in some cases, employers are liable for the harm and damages caused by intoxicated/impaired employees after an employer-sponsored party. Those cases are ones in which: The employer provided the alcohol to the employee; The employer knew the

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You started it! When the victim is the instigator of harassment

We often hear from our clients, or through the course of investigations, that the incidents now being alleged to be harassment are part of the workplace culture, and that an employee’s active participation in the harassing behaviour means that the conduct should not constitute harassment for that employee. Is the employee’s participation in the harassing

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How not to conduct an investigation…yet another example

The number of decisions dealing with how not to conduct workplace investigations continues to grow. One of these decisions, Ditomene v Boulanger, 2013 QCCQ 842, comes from the Quebec Court and while the case was decided under the Civil Code of Quebec, it provides a laundry list of flaws that should be avoided in a

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The dads and don’ts of the workplace

This past Sunday was Father’s Day.  This made us wonder, how has the relationship between fathers and their children been reflected in employment law cases? After we reflected on the cases that immediately came to mind, and then rounded out the list with some research, it became clear that this very special relationship has served

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Porridge on toast and other workplace investigation tales from Saskatchewan

The other week, my partner Chris Thomlinson and I conducted our first workplace investigation training session in Regina, Saskatchewan. We were with a great group of people. To prepare, Chris and I reviewed a number of interesting workplace investigation cases that have been decided in Saskatchewan, but have principles applicable for workplaces and investigators across the

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