Canadians and Americans may be culturally similar on some levels. However, in the arena of employment law, we could not be further apart. This is a legal environment that would make the likes of Donald Trump contrite and speechless. A recent ground-breaking case is sure to render many U.S-style employment contracts null and void in Ontario. Does yours pass the smell test?
Illness and disability may cause you to take time off from work. During this time, you will be particularly vulnerable. Sadly, some employers act shortsightedly in such circumstances. Pegging you as “damaged goods”, a few may try to frustrate you into an unwilling resignation. Others may block you from accessing your disability benefits. And the worst offenders will outright fire you while you are ill.
If you believe your termination package is inadequate, you have two avenues to seek resolution. You can file a claim with the Ministry of Labour, commonly referred to as the Labour Board. Or you can hire an employment lawyer. The Labour Board process is free and you can easily file your papers on-line. However, before you proceed down this path, understand the limitations.
Almost always, employers require a signed employment agreement as a condition of employment. If yours contains a non compete clause, seek legal advice before you sign, especially if you want to keep your options open about working for the competition.
Cannabis use is legal in Canada for recreational and medical use. With no employment laws in place specifically addressing its use, employers have filled the gap with workplace policies. If you are a user, then you should understand the law enough to navigate the matter because some workplace policies are sparking heated debates.
Ontario’s economy is changing. Workplaces are less secure, with part-time and contract jobs on the rise. The government passed sweeping changes to our employment laws to address this trend and provide workers with more rights. Bill 148 legislation becomes effective on January 1, 2018. What changes for you as a worker in this new Ontario economy?
Canadian physicians are prescribing marijuana with increasing frequency for pain, disability and chronic illness. Accordingly, with easier access, could workplaces encounter more cases of marijuana intoxication? Under our current laws, your employer can fire you for being intoxicated on duty. But the matter is not clear cut with medical marijuana. In this case, your employer must treat it like any other prescription drug.