The Federal Government has recently introduced Bill C-65, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, which provides for significant changes in how federally-regulated workplaces must address workplace violence and harassment. Bill C-65 follows a year-long public consultation commissioned by the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour that concluded that harassment and violence in workplaces is underreported and not dealt with effectively when reported. Bill C-65 seeks to enhance the current legislative framework, which was originally intended to apply to … Continue Reading
Three years ago, the Federal Government passed the Employees’ Voting Rights Act, which reformed the Canada Labour Code’s certification and decertification rules for federally regulated workplaces.
The most significant change was the removal of the 50 year old “card check” system. Card check allowed a union to be automatically certified without a vote when it could demonstrate that the majority of the employees in the proposed bargaining unit has signed membership cards and paid a nominal fee.
The other change was lowering the threshold for support for decertification from 50% +1 to 40%.
In Bill C-4, An Act to … Continue Reading
The Federal Government has recently commenced a nationwide consultation process with Canadians to inform the development of federal accessibility legislation. Specifically, the government is seeking input on the following:
- feedback on the overall goal and approach;
- to whom would apply;
- what accessibility issues and barriers it could address;
- how it could be monitored and enforced; and
- what else the Government of Canada could do to improve accessibility.
Thus far, there is limited opportunity for public oral consultation. Brief in-person sessions are taking place in 18 cities across Canada. These sessions began in September and will continue through to … Continue Reading
Today, the Supreme Court of Canada allowed the appeal in Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, and ruled that federally regulated employers must provide justification for dismissing a non-unionized employee or risk facing the “galaxy of discretionary remedies, including, most notably, reinstatement” provided for under the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”). Unfortunately for federally regulated employers, this decision overturns the Federal Court of Appeal ruling we wrote about early last year and confirms the notion that federally regulated, non-unionized employees cannot be dismissed without cause or reasons. In other words, a federal sector employer cannot simply … Continue Reading
The Federal Government has pledged to amend the Canada Labour Code to allow federally regulated workers to formally request flexible work arrangements from their employers, noting that a statutory right to request flexible work arrangements would align with existing obligations under human rights law (e.g. family status protections around an employee’s childcare obligations).
Following this pledge, the Federal Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour recently published a discussion paper on the topic, and announced that it will be conducting public consultations about flexible work arrangements, including flexibility around work schedules, hours of work, location or work, leaves, and rest … Continue Reading
When dealing with requests for accommodation, employee absenteeism and other medical circumstances, employers are routinely faced with the challenge of balancing employee privacy interests against the operational interests of the business when determining how much medical information and what kind of medical information employers can request. The analysis typically centres on the issue of what is reasonable in the circumstances, with diagnostic information being considered to be a clear delineation point as to what employers may request and not request. At the Canadian Senate in January, the question of the protection personal health information took on a new angle, centering … Continue Reading