The Ministry of Labour has recently published a new version of
the "What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment
Standards Act" poster that provincially regulated
employers are required to post in the workplace.
The poster, commonly referred to as the "ESA Poster,"
briefly sets out an employee's rights under the Employments
Standards Act, 2000 (the "ESA"). The ESA Poster must
be posted on legal-sized paper in a conspicuous location in the
workplace and must be in both English and the majority language
present in the workplace. The newest version of the ESA Poster
reflects recent changes to the ESA regarding the minimum wage and
is available online or can be ordered from ServiceOntario Publications. Employers are
required to have the newest version of the document posted in the
workplace at all times.
Given the recent amendment to the ESA Poster, now is a good time
for employers to ensure that they are in compliance with other
mandatory workplace posting requirements in Ontario. Failure to
comply with these posting requirements can result in compliance
orders and fines. Below is a summary of the mandatory posting
requirements in Ontario.
Ontario Health and Safety Act (the
"OHSA") – Employers are required to post a copy of
the entire OHSA in their workplaces. The Act is available online or can be ordered from ServiceOntario Publications.
"Health & Safety at Work: Prevention
Starts Here"Poster – The
OHSA requires employers to post the Health & Safety at
Work: Prevention Starts Here poster on legal-sized paper in a
conspicuous location in the workplace. The poster summarizes the
health and safety rights and responsibilities of employees,
employers and supervisors in Ontario. Printed colour posters are
available from ServiceOntario Publications or can be
downloaded online in English, French and 15 other
Employer Policies – The OHSA requires
Ontario employers with more than five workers at the workplace to
develop and post the following policies in a conspicuous location
at the workplace:
Occupational Health and Safety Policy;
Workplace Harassment Policy; and
Workplace Violence Policy.
Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Members and
Locations - In workplaces where an employer is required to
establish a JHSC, the OHSA requires that employers post the names
and work locations of the committee members in a conspicuous
location in the workplace. Workplaces that require a JHSC include
any workplace that regularly employs more than 20 workers or, where
fewer than 20 employees are regularly employed, any workplace using
a "designated substance," as defined under the
"In Case of Injury at Work"Poster – Pursuant to the Workplace
Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, all Ontario employers covered
by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the "WSIB")
are required to prominently display a legal-sized copy of the
In Case of Injury at Work poster in their workplace. The
poster summarizes the basic steps and responsibilities of employees
and employers when responding to a workplace injury. Employers can
find the poster online or by calling the WSIB.
Pay Equity Plans - Certain public sector and
large private sector employers are required to prepare and post pay
equity plans in accordance with the requirements under the Pay
Equity Act. In Ontario, private sector workplaces with over
100 employees are required to prepare and post a pay equity
Certification of Trade Union Documents - When
an employer is served with a notice of certification by a union,
the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the "OLRB") imposes
mandatory posting obligations on the employer. During this process,
an employer must post copies of the Application for Certification
and the Notice to Employees of Application for Certification. These
documents are to be posted adjacent to one another in a sufficient
number of locations so that they are likely to come to the
attention of all employees affected by the application. Following a
vote on the certification application, the employer is also
required to post copies of the Decision, the Notice of Vote and of
Hearing and the Report of Vote. For more information, see the
OLRB's Information Bulletin No. 1 available online.
Signs Prohibiting Smoking – Pursuant to
the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, employers are required to post
prescribed signs prohibiting smoking at each entrance, exit and
washroom of an enclosed workplace in appropriate locations and in
sufficient numbers to ensure that employees and the public are
aware that no smoking is permitted in the workplace. The signs must
meet specific requirements. Compliant signage is available online from the Ministry of Health and
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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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.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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