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News Releases

British Columbia government bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia government issued this news release today:

B.C. bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

The B.C. government has followed through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond.

The requirement to wear high heels in some workplaces is a workplace health and safety issue. There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.

The change was made by amending the existing footwear regulation (section 8.22) of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, under the Workers Compensation Act.  read more »

Mayor Gregor Robertson calls for City of Vancouver to be "living wage" employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Local Government

The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, issued the following news release today (June 29, 2015):

Mayor calls for Vancouver to become a Living Wage employer

Saying it is important for the City of Vancouver to show leadership on reducing inequality, Mayor Gregor Robertson is bringing forward a motion to City Council this week calling on the City to become a living wage employer.

Noting that Vancouver will be joining a number of existing living wage employers, including Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, the City of New Westminster, SAP and the United Way, Robertson said the policy is a practical response to the fact that housing, transportation and living costs have been rising in the region while wages have stagnated.

The result is that more and more families are unable to make ends meet even if they have two jobs, exposing their children to poverty.  read more »

Yukon's public sector whistleblower legislation now in effect

Jurisdiction: - Yukon

The Government of Yukon issued the following news release on June 15, 2015:

Public Interest Disclosure and Wrongdoing Act now in force

WHITEHORSE-The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act went into effect today. It provides a process that employees can follow if they believe there has been a wrongdoing in their organization or if they believe they have been unfairly treated as a result of raising concerns about a wrongdoing.

The legislation covers Yukon public service organizations listed in the act and is intended to deal with significant and serious matters that an employee believes to be unlawful, dangerous to the public or injurious to the public interest.  read more »

Uber appealing California Labor Commission's ruling that driver was an employee, not contractor

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Transportation

">Uber posted this statement on its blog today (June 17, 2015) in response to the California Labor Commission's ruling that a driver was an employee, not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for driving related expenses:

"Reuters' original headline was not accurate. The California Labor Commission's ruling is non-binding and applies to a single driver. Indeed it is contrary to a previous ruling by the same commission, which concluded in 2012 that the driver 'performed services as an independent contractor, and not as a bona fide employee.' Five other states have also come to the same conclusion. It's important to remember that the number one reason drivers choose to use Uber is because they have complete flexibility and control. The majority of them can and do choose to earn their living from multiple sources, including other ride sharing companies. We have appealed this ruling."

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector

The Fraser Institute issued this news release on June 4, 2015:

Government employees in Canada paid 9.7% more than comparable employees in private-sector

TORONTO-Government employees in Canada receive higher wages and likely more generous non-wage benefits than their private-sector counterparts, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"As governments across Canada struggle with persistent deficits and growing debt in the face of ongoing negotiations with public-sector unions, now is an opportune time to scrutinize the compensation of government employees nationwide," said Jason Clemens, executive vice-president of the Fraser Institute and co-author of Comparing Government and Private Sector Compensation in Canada.  read more »

BC Hydro and labour unions reach labour deal to build Site C dam in northeast BC

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Utilities

BC Hydro issued this news release today (May 27, 2015):

The BC Building Trades and BC Hydro have secured an agreement on the importance of labour stability on the Site C Clean Energy Project, recognizing that stability is best achieved with a mix of labour representation that includes building trades unions.

The framework allows the project to operate as a managed open site that includes participation from union and non-union workers as well as independent and First Nations contractors.

"This agreement ensures workers from all labour groups can build Site C together and paves the way for the labour stability that I believe British Columbians want as we undertake building the largest hydroelectric project in a generation," said Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro. "It allows for a managed open site and also takes important steps to ensure the BC Building Trades unions will take part in the construction along with all other B.C. workers."  read more »

Federal government given mostly "C grades" for quantity / accessibility of labour market information

Jurisdiction: - All

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce issued the following news release today (May 21, 2015) concerning the federal government's performance on labour market information which, according to the Chamber, helps Canadians find information about jobs and labour market trends and outlooks:

Ottawa, May 21, 2015 - Good information is the basis of good decisions, but when it comes to information about Canada's labour market, the federal government is delivering a poor performance. Today, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released How good is Canada's labour market information?, a report card rating the federal government performance on labour market information. It shows a series of mostly C grades on the information Canadian business, educators and job seekers rely on to understand the labour market of today and the future.  read more »

Ontario holding public consultations to strengthen Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

On May 14, 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Labour issued the followinig news release concerning public consultations on the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act, 2000:

Province Protecting Workers In The Modern Workplace

Ontario is moving forward with public consultations on issues and trends that affect workers and employers across the province in the modern workplace.

Public consultations about how the Labour Relations Act,1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000 could be amended to keep pace with the changing needs of workers and employers will begin on June 16th in Toronto and will continue
throughout the summer in communities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Guelph, Windsor and London.   read more »

BC's new pension standards legislation will come into force on September 30, 2015, announces government

Topics: - News Releases - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - All

The BC Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on May 13, 2015 regarding the province's new pension standards legislation:

The Province's new Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA), which accommodates alternative pension plan designs and improves plan governance, comes into force on Sept. 30, 2015, Finance Minister Michael de Jong has announced.

The new legislation modernizes the existing policy and regulatory framework for B.C.'s occupational pension plans by replacing the current legislation. It has been largely harmonized with Alberta legislation to streamline the operation of pension plans with members in both provinces.

Key benefits of the PBSA include greater access to financial hardship unlocking, enabling the establishment of target benefit plans, and enhanced disclosure and governance of pension plans.  read more »

Ontario one step closer to rolling out Ontario Retirement Pension Plan by January 1, 2017

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on April 29, 2015 concerning the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which is currently scheduled to be rolled out by January 1, 2017:

Bill Strengthening Retirement Security for Millions of Workers Passess in Ontario Legislature

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 has been approved by the Ontario Legislature. The Act forms the foundation of the ORPP, which the government will put in place by January 1, 2017.

Ontario has held extensive consultations across the province with business, labour, associations, young workers, pension experts, individuals and families to ensure that the government creates the best plan for the people of Ontario.

Once established, the ORPP will be the first of its kind in Canada, building on key features of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The ORPP will:  read more »