The upcoming Civic Holiday is celebrated on Monday, August 3 in
Ontario. The holiday, which was created in honour of John Graves Simcoe, the first
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, often raises questions for
employees and employers alike. Contrary to popular belief, the
Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday in Ontario; it is not
listed as a public holiday in the province's Employment Standards Act. This means
that, while many employers choose to give their employees a
holiday, they are not required to do so by law.
A number of other provinces also have a public holiday, called
by a variety of different names, next Monday. British Columbia Day,
New Brunswick Day, Saskatchewan Day, Civic Holiday in the Northwest
Territories and Civic Holiday in Nunavut are all statutory holidays
and are governed by each province's employment standards
legislation. Heritage Day in Alberta, Natal Day in Nova Scotia, and
Civic Holiday in Manitoba are not statutory holidays and employees
are therefore not guaranteed a holiday.
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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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