Ontario's government has introduced a Bill that would result
in harsher penalties for distracted driving.
The proposed amendments to the Highway Traffic Act would:
-Increase the fine range from $60 – $500 to $300 –
-Assign three demerit points upon conviction of a distracted
Sections 78 of the Highway Traffic Act prohibits
holding of "a hand-held wireless communication device or other
prescribed device that is capable of receiving or transmitting
telephone communications, electronic data, mail or text
messages". Since that provision was introduced in
2009, it has become widely recognized that distracted driving is a
major road safety issue in Ontario.
Ontario employers should consider implementing a
"distracted driving" policy if they have not done so
already – particularly where employees regularly drive on
Ontario Bill 173 may be accessed here, and a
government press release on the Bill may be accessed here.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
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