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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

A Schrenk explainer: The case before the Supreme Court of Canada and why it matters

This past Tuesday, on March 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Court”) heard arguments in British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal v. Edward Schrenk.[i] The case raises very important issues as to who is entitled to protections against harassment and discrimination in the workplace and in what workplace settings and employment-related relationships.  The Court

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Is being bathed by a woman a legitimate creed-based requirement? Ontario Human Rights Tribunal requires evidence from Rastafarian

Last year I blogged about a decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that considered the definition and scope of the ground of creed. While the decision laid out a clear analytical framework, the facts of the case were unique and of such specificity that it might have been difficult to see how the

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Anatomy of an employment lawyer

“Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self worth and emotional well being.” These words were penned nearly 30

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A delicate balance – Resolving competing rights claims in the workplace

When discussing workplace complaints and conflicts with clients or while delivering training, I regularly hear that the most challenging situations to address are those which seem to involve competing individual rights. Employers are unsure how to proceed when both parties seem to be making a valid argument under the organization’s policies or the Ontario Human

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Balancing finality and justice in the application of s.45.1

Section 45.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) permits the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) to dismiss all or part of an application where “another proceeding has appropriately dealt with the substance of the application.” In Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) v De Lottinville, 2015 ONSC 3085, the Ontario Divisional Court considered the

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Accommodation – You can’t always get what you want

A Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry recently tackled an accommodation issue in LeFrense v. IBM Canada Ltd., 2015, CanLII 1720 (NS HRC). Board Chair, Walter Thompson Q.C., found that IBM did everything within its power to assist its employee, Mr. LeFrense, in returning to the workplace and accommodating his sleep apnea in accordance

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“It’s never okay”

I set aside some time this weekend to review the Ontario Government’s action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment, released on Friday, March 6, 2015, and it occurred to me that this seemed a particularly significant thing to be doing on International Women’s Day yesterday. According to the Government, 28% of Canadians say that

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The vaccination debate and the workplace: Implementing mandatory vaccination policies

The vaccination debate has been raging over the last few months. Scientists, doctors, parents and even celebrities have shared their pro and anti-vaccination stances. The “anti-vaxx” controversy has revolved mainly around school-age children and their vulnerability to long-dormant diseases, however the controversy is also salient for employers in the broader workplace context. Last week, a

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