Nova Scotia issues "Discussion Paper on Regulations for Recruiters and Employers of Foreign Workers"
The Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education issued a "Discussion Paper on Regulations for Recruiters and Employers of Foreign Workers" on January 16, 2012.
The Introduction of the paper states:
In June 2010, the government conducted a broad consultation on the employment of foreign workers (FWs) in Nova Scotia. Following the consultation, on May 19, 2011, the Government passed the Worker Recruitment and Protection Act, which amends the Labour Standards Code. Included among the amendments to the Code is a prohibition against charging workers (both FWs and non FWs) recruitment fees and a prohibition against recovering recruitment costs from workers. These prohibitions are now in force. read more »
Upcoming conferences on labour, employment, human rights, privacy, immigration, pensions & benefits law
The table below contains a comprehensive list of the upcoming workplace law (employment, labour, human rights, pensions, privacy and immigration) conferences in Canada in 2011. The full names of the service providers, and links to their sites, are at the bottom of the page.
In an April 2009 post, I reported on the pending legislation in Ontario - Bill 37 - which will amend the Child and Family Services Act (Ontario) and imposes a positive obligation on any person in Ontario, including employers and employees, to report child pornography.
An article in the May 3, 2010 edition of the Canadian HR Reporter - which recently landed on my desk - points out that Ontario is just one of four Canadian provinces to take action in this regard. To summarize from the article (and other sources): read more »
A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status":
- It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
- Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
- Quebec uses the term "civil status".
- The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".
(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).
Does the Ontario Human Rights Code ("OHRC") protect employees charged with a criminal offence? The answer is "no" based on a series of decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") over the last year.
Ontario Human Rights Code
The OHRC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an employee's "record of offences". The OHRC states that "record of offences" means a conviction for:
(a) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or
(b) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.
Decision in de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc.
In a February 2009 decision, de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc. 2009 HRTO 172 (CanLII), the chair of the OHRT ruled that the "record of offences" provisions do not encompass criminal charges. Specifically, he stated: read more »
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision may signal death knell for mandatory retirement in federal sector
On July 1, 2009, Nova Scotia amended its human rights legislation in order to prohibit mandatory retirement in most cases. This means that every province and territory in Canada has now either prohibited mandatory retirement outright, or only allows it if it is based on bona fide retirement or pension plans, or a bona fide occupational requirement.
The same cannot be said for federally regulated employers in Canada.
Section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (the "Act") still permits employers in the federal sector to impose mandatory retirement policies on their employees if they have reached "the normal age of retirement for employees working in positions similar to the position of that individual".
Sections 15(1)(a) and 15(2) of the Act provide that mandatory retirement policies are not discriminatory if they are based on a bona fide occupational requirement. read more »
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 40N and Farmer's Cooperative Dairy Ltd. January 11, 2009 (Christie) (Nova Scotia)
In Canadian Staff Union v. Canadian Union of Public Employees  N.S.L.A.A. No. 15 (QL), a Nova Scotia arbitrator found that "ordinary" family obligations do not require accommodation. You can read a summary of the decision by Michael Conradi, a lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto, here.
The Nova Scotia government issued the following news release yesterday:
Workplace Violence Strategy Released
A government strategy to reduce the number of violent incidents at work is being unveiled to Nova Scotians today, April 26.
The Workplace Violence Prevention Strategy covers education and awareness, legislation and regulation, compliance promotion, partnership development, information sharing, and evaluation and research. It was developed with public input, and will continue to reflect the experiences and advice of workplaces that implement it. read more »