The Ontario Government is moving forward with its plan to implement wide-sweeping changes to the province’s employment and labour laws. The proposed legislation, Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, will enter its Second Reading in the Ontario legislature soon. Our colleagues in Toronto recently addressed the status of Bill 148 in their blog post “Ontario’s Employment and Labour Law Reform Bill Continues to Undergo Changes.”
On August 15, 2017, the provincial government announced that British Columbia’s minimum wage will increase from $10.85 to $11.35 per hour effective September 15, 2017. This is the Ministry of Labour’s first step in a long-term plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Wage increases will also take effect for employees in the following categories:
- live-in home support worker;
- live-in camp leader;
- resident caretaker;
- farm workers; and
- liquor servers.
Please contact us directly if you would like more information about any increase in wages affecting your workforce and the related amendments to the Employment Standards Regulation (B.C. … Continue Reading
Last week, the Government of Alberta tendered and passed first reading of Bill 17: Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act . Bill 17 proposes a number of amendments to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. If passed, these amendments will have a significant impact on employers’ policies, practices and business as a whole.
For more information on the proposed changes, please visit the blog post “Bill 17 – Proposed Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code” prepared by our colleagues in Calgary.… Continue Reading
|On May 22, 2017, the Ontario Government released the much-anticipated Changing Workplaces Review Final Report.
The Report recommends wide-sweeping changes to Ontario’s employment and labour laws. The Ontario Government is expected to act on many of the recommendations within weeks, and the reverberations will be felt across Canada.
For more information, please visit the blog post “Government of Ontario releases the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report” prepared by our colleagues in Toronto.
McCarthy Tétrault’s Doing Business in Canada provides a user-friendly overview of central aspects of the Canadian political and legal systems that are most likely to affect new and established business in Canada. The newest edition includes sections on: Immigration (at page 129); Employment (at page 151); and Dispute Resolution (at page 171).
General guidance is included throughout the publication on a broad range of discussions. We also recommend that you seek the advice of one of our lawyers for any specific legal aspects of your proposed investment or activity.
The British Columbia Supreme Court recently addressed key issues regarding probationary periods in employment contracts.
In Ly v. British Columbia (Interior Health Authority), 2017 BCSC 42, the contract of employment executed by the plaintiff, Mr. Ly, contained the following probation clause: “Employees are required to serve an initial probationary period of six (6) months for new positions” (the “Probation Clause“).
Mr. Ly was dismissed from his position after two months and challenged the enforceability of the Probation Clause. He argued that such a brief reference to probation was not sufficient to rebut the common law … Continue Reading
Earlier this month, we posted a list of minimum wage increases across Canada and noted Premier Christy Clark’s May 2016 announcement that the provincial government was committed to raising the minimum wage for employees in British Columbia to $11.25 per hour effective September 15, 2017 (click here). In line with this commitment, B.C.’s Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Ministry issued a news release yesterday announcing that, effective September 15, 2017, the minimum wage will rise by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour and the minimum wage for liquor servers will increase to $10.10 an hour. Read the full news … Continue Reading
Minimum wage increase are on the horizon for employees across Canada.
- Alberta: On October 1, 2016, the general minimum wage increased to $12.20 per hour, liquor servers were included in the general minimum wage category, and salespeople received a wage increase to $486/week. Effective October 1, 2017, the general minimum wage will increase to $13.60 per hour, and the rate for salespeople will increase to $542/week.
- New Brunswick: Effective April 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase from $10.65 to $11.00 per hour.
- Quebec: Effective May 1, 2017, the general minimum wage will increase from $10.75 to
McCarthy Tétrault’s Doing Business in Canada provides a user-friendly overview of central aspects of the Canadian political and legal systems that are most likely to affect new and established business in Canada. The newest edition reflects legislative changes including:
- Changes to the Competition Act and Investment Act Canada;
- and an updated Mergers and Acquisitions chapter including new rules on takeover bids in Canada.
General guidance is included throughout the publication on a broad range of discussions. We also recommend that you seek the advice of one of our lawyers for any specific legal aspects of your proposed investment or activity.… Continue Reading
Employment and Social Development Canada recently released a Discussion Paper on Flexible Work Arrangements, signaling potential changes to the Canada Labour Code (“Code”). The Discussion Paper follows on the federal government’s November 2015 mandate to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to amend the Code in order to allow workers in federally regulated sectors to formally request flexible work arrangements from their employers. Employers would then be obliged to respond to such requests, and could only deny requests on “reasonable business grounds”. Changes to the Code would affect some 880,000 employees working for over 11,450 employers in federally … Continue Reading
McCarthy Tétrault launched its 14th blog today, Québec Employer Advisor, to help clients manage the challenges they face in today’s workplace. The blog provides employers and HR professionals with analysis of the latest legal issues that affect employment-related practices, labour and human resources policies in Québec. In addition to providing clients with insights on the implications of new case law, as well as updates on the latest legislative and regulatory developments, the blog will be regularly updated with practical tips, specifically relevant in the Québec marketplace. We encourage you to visit the blog and subscribe for regular updates.… Continue Reading
Employment agreement interpreted in light of statutory right to maternity leave
The recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court in Sowden v. Manulife Canada Ltd. is noteworthy for its interpretation of a written agreement regarding bonus payments, and the court’s reluctance to allow an employer to use an employee’s maternity leave as a reason to reduce her bonus payment.
Janice Sowden was a regional marketing director for Manulife Canada Ltd. (“Manulife”). Her remuneration was made up of a base salary plus a variable bonus, calculated partly on her success in recruiting new financial advisors to work for Manulife. In essence, … Continue Reading
Are employers obligated to give employees time off to vote in the general local elections this Saturday, November 15?
The short answer is no. Unlike in provincial and federal elections, there is no statutory obligation under the Local Government Act on employers to provide employees with time off from work to vote in local government or municipal elections. The polls for these elections are open from 8am-8pm, and employees may vote in advance polls or even by mail ballot if they have conflicting commitments on the general voting day.
Although there is no legal obligation to provide time off, we … Continue Reading
While talks continue, there is no immediate end in sight for the ongoing teachers’ strike. For employees with school-age children, this may mean facing a child care gap starting next week. As an employer, what are your legal obligations and what can you do to make sure work continues while school’s out?
The Legal Framework
First, the Employment Standards Act provides all employees in the province with up to five (5) unpaid days of family responsibility leave each year for the care, health and education of a child in an employee’s care. Employers do not have the discretion to … Continue Reading
Canadian employers have been watching a series of class action claims, with employees claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime, since 2007. While overtime class action claims are still not possible in British Columbia (for the reasons discussed here), claims can balloon in other provinces when a representative plaintiff claims unpaid overtime for themselves and on behalf of colleagues.
On August 12, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved the settlement of one of these overtime class actions, Fulawka v. The Bank of Nova Scotia. Our colleagues in Calgary have posted about this recent development … Continue Reading
With brand new labour and employment legislation, and a major case before the Supreme Court of Canada, Saskatchewan seems to be the current ‘centre of the action’ in Canadian labour law.
Constitutional Right to Strike?
On May 16, 2014, a very significant labour law appeal – Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal – was argued before the Supreme Court of Canada. The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and other unions argued that two pieces of provincial legislation violated employees’ right to freedom of association protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.… Continue Reading
Many employers have policies about termination, and specifically about what an employee is entitled to if terminated without cause. It is a good idea to try to manage the cost of terminations, but it needs to be done properly to be effective.
Oliver v. Sure Grip Controls is a recent case where a termination policy was reviewed. The employer tried to limit its liability by reference to the policy set out in the employee handbook. The employer had gone to the trouble of having the handbook reviewed and signed by the employee, but the handbook included this underlined statement:
I … Continue Reading
Our colleagues in Ontario recently posted a very useful outline of an HR audit that will help BC employers ensure they stay up-to-date and on top of the wide variety of employment-related demands in their operations. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.… Continue Reading
The Ontario government has introduced a bill to make significant changes to employment law in that province. Every BC employer with employees in Ontario should follow the course of these proposed changes.
As our colleagues in Ontario note, the Bill may not become law under the current government, but the proposals are wide-ranging and follow earlier Law Reform Commission recommendations. See their analysis here.… Continue Reading
Here are links to recent posts on other McCarthy Tétrault blogs which may be of interest to BC employers:
Our firm now publishes 10 different blogs, and they often have items of interest for BC employers. Here is a sampling of recent posts:
Customer Contacts on Linkedin = Property of the Employer – good news from the UK courts.
Five Employment Issues Facing Retailers – similar issues for retailers in BC.
Notices of Termination – can you terminate an employee before the effective date of their resignation?
Restrictive Covenants and Sale of a Business – how are they interpreted and when will they be enforced?
10 Things You Should Know About BC’s New Limitation Act – including reducing the … Continue Reading
A British Columbia employer has won a case to avoid double recovery of Employment Standards and wrongful dismissal damages. The decision in Roy v. Metasoft Systems Inc. is another piece of good news for employers to go with our recent post about the BC Human Rights Tribunal helping to discourage forum hopping.
Ms. Roy was a software sales associate. She complained to her employer about not getting all the commissions she thought she had earned. She threatened to file a complaint for unpaid wages with the Employment Standards Branch. The employment relationship went downhill from there and her employment was … Continue Reading
Telecommuting may be on the way out at Yahoo! but it is very much alive elsewhere. So if you have employees who are working from home, or if you are considering it, you should think through the employment issues.
The first question is: Do you have a written agreement to set out the telecommuting rules? If not, you need one.
The next question is: What does the telecommuting agreement need to address? Here is a list of some issues to consider:
- How do you monitor and manage hours of work? Unless you fit into one of the exemptions in the
The materials for all the presentations and workshops are available online here.
The materials cover:
What we can expect from an NDP government in Victoria
Privacy in workplace computers
Bill 14 – The new harassment, bullying and violence in the workplace provisions
Pension and Benefits law developments
A review of human rights, employment and labour cases from the past 12 months
Thinking about staying non-union
Written employment contracts and policies
Best practices in terminations