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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

Ministry of Labour proactively investigating employer compliance with ESA

Although the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) is intended to be remedial legislation designed to protect vulnerable employees, it is only as effective as its enforcement mechanism.  In an effort to ramp up such enforcement, the Ontario Ministry of Labour periodically performs a series of “enforcement blitzes” to proactively investigate employer compliance with the ESA

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Beer may create a workplace hazard, even if it isn’t consumed

Alcohol use in the workplace has been the subject of significant discussion by employment lawyers and Canadian jurists in recent years. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada held, in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., that employers do not have an automatic right to impose

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Occupational health & safety update: What federally regulated employers need to know about recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code

As of October 31, 2014, several amendments to the occupational health and safety (“OHS”) provisions of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) came into effect. Those amendments may have significant implications for federally-regulated organizations, particularly inasmuch as Parliament has now transferred statutory authority from “a health and safety officer” directly to the Minister of Labour,

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Employer drowns in penalties after not paying student lifeguards

The owner of a pool company has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $15,000 for not paying thousands of dollars in wages to former student lifeguards. The employer operated a string of pool supply companies, and hired students to work as lifeguards during the summer months. The employer was able to secure

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Are you a 22-22-22 employee?

If you’re reading this post in the evening, through a mobile device, and you’re still working, you are likely part of Generation Y. Born between 1981 and 2000, the 12 million Canadian members of Generation Y, have accepted working hours and conditions that, according to a recent article in the New York Times, have coined

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Employee charged for failure to report unsafe work

An Ontario employee has been charged under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) for allegedly not reporting a dangerous work situation. The employee, a City of Ottawa (“City”) worker, was present while a private contractor was hooking up connections for a new development site to the city’s water and sewer systems. Also present

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Corporate director fined and sentenced to prison term for failure to pay wages

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Justice shows that a company’s failure to abide by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) can result in serious penalties for its directors. In that regard, the Court imposed a $280,000 penalty on six Ontario companies and the director of those companies, and also sentenced the director

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Coroner makes recommendations to improve occupational health and safety in construction industry

The Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario has recently made recommendations to the Chief Prevention Officer and the Ministry of Labour relating to improved safety for workers in the construction industry. In the Verdict of the Coroner’s Jury regarding the Inquest into the death of Mark Pagavathsing, dated September 21, 2012 (2012 CanLII 66789),

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