Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act,
2014, has received royal assent and is now the law. As we have
reported, this Bill significantly amends workplace laws,
including the Employment Sandards Act, 2000
("ESA"), the Occupational Health and Safety Act
("OHSA"), the Labour Relations Act
("LRA") and the Workplace Safety and Insurance
Some of the major changes include:
Linking minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index. The
Government would publish the new minimum wage arising from the
formula by April 1st of each year.
Eliminating the $10,000 cap on claims for unpaid wages.
Replacing the 6 month and 12 month time limitation for claiming
unpaid wages by a single 2 year time limit for all wage
Requring employers to provide the Ministry of Labour's
poster on the ESA to every employee.
Allowing the Ministry of Labour to order employers to engage in
a "self audit" for the purposes of determining ESA
Making temporary help agencies and employers who use such
agencies jointly and severally liable for wage claims from
Shifting the experience rating costs for WSIB purposes to the
employer who uses temporary labour. Also, reporting obligations to
the WSIB would apply to both the temporary agency and the
Expanding the definition of "worker" under OHSA to
apply to unpaid labour, like "interns" and certain school
Reducing the "open period" during which a
displacement or decertification application could be brought from 3
months to 2 months.
Although some of these provisions will not take effect
immediately, all employers should be aware of these significant new
changes and alter their workplace policies and practices
A more detailed summary of these changes can be found
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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