As we had previously
reported in early November and
mid-November last year, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces
for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, received Royal Assent on
November 20, 2014. Bill 18 set out new labour and employment
obligations for Ontario employers, some of which immediately came
into effect on November 20, 2014, while others would come into
effect after November 20, 2014. On May 20, 2015, two of these new
obligations came into effect.
Provision of Informational Poster
Effective May 20, 2015, Ontario employers are required to
provide each employee with a copy of the most recent informational
poster published by the Minister of Labour, and Ministry-prepared
translations of such posters (if any), if requested by the
employee. Employees hired prior to May 20, 2015 must be provided
with a copy of such poster by June 19, 2015. Employees hired after
May 20, 2015 must be provided with a copy of such poster within 30
days of commencing employment.
Effective May 20, 2015, an employment standards officer now has
the power to require an Ontario employer to conduct an
examination/self-audit of an employer's records, practices, or
both, to determine whether the employer is in compliance with the
Employment Standards Act, 2000 or its regulations. Such
employers will be required to conduct the self-audit and report the
results to the employment standards officer.
Employers may wish to conduct a proactive employment practices
audit in order to ensure compliance with the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 and mitigate the risk of a contravention
Looking Ahead (and in the Rearview Mirror)
The above-noted changes are just the most recent of those
enacted by Bill 18, and further changes will come into force in the
Although Bill 18 has undoubtedly increased Ontario
employers' employment-related obligations, awareness of the
extent of the changes and proactive compliance will assist
employers in mitigating its impact.
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.
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.
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