Are employers allowed to ask employees to cover up visible tattoos while on the job? Generally speaking, employers are entitled to set the rules of the workplace. However, there must always be a balance between personal rights and legitimate business interests.
Employers would be well-advised to ensure they have written policies and procedures in place to adequately handle privacy breaches.
Employees: do not confuse the change in criminal laws with any change at work; they are two very different concepts and showing up high at work could cost you your job.
While certain behaviours are clearly never acceptable in the workplace, there may be a new culprit on the no-no list: handshakes.
It’s happened again, and it’s no less devastating each and every time. On February 15, 2019, a mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois (roughly an hour from Chicago) left six people dead, including the shooter. Among those killed were a human resources manager, an HR intern in his first day on the job, a plant manager, a union chairman, and a stockroom attendant.
While 2017 brought about sweeping changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000, 2018...brought about sweeping changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000. While 2017 brought about employer panic and confusion over the legalization of cannabis, 2018... continued to do much the same. For yet another year, we were treated to several judicial assessments of the enforceability of termination clauses, and we continued to see the quantums of human rights and other damages increase. In a sense, everything old is new again.
Although office holiday parties can be an amazing way to thank employees for their hard work all year, they can also be a minefield of potential liability for employers. This liability can crop up in any number of ways, including through harassing or offensive comments, inappropriate sexual or romantic advances, inadvertent discrimination, and excessive alcohol consumption. This year, in addition to these issues, employers also need to be prepared to deal with a brand new potential pitfall: the use of recreational cannabis.
Now that the use of recreational marijuana has been legalized, an employer’s existing drug and alcohol policies are unlikely to carry adequate wording to cover risks of applying unenforceable disciplinary procedures.
Those in “Human Resources” often suffer from an existential dilemma, unsure as to whether they should be seen as part of management, a representative of the workers, or something in between.
We have done our best to identify the developments in 2017 that we think had, or will have, the most significant impact upon Canadian employment law. They are reviewed below, and as usual, we refuse to be limited to a “top 10” format.