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We previously reported changes to Ontario’s Employment Standards legislation. Some of those changes are now being undone by Bill 47.

Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, received Royal Assent on November 21, 2018, marking a significant change to Ontario’s labour and employment law landscape. The new legislation represents the provincial ...

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The holiday season is approaching, and many employees will be taking well-earned vacation. It is a good time for a refresher on statutory vacation requirements under the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (the "Act").

British Columbia employers must give employees who are subject to the Act both vacation time off of work and vacation pay.

Vacation Time

Employers ...

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On November 8, 2018, British Columbia's government passed Bill 48, the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act (the "Act")While the measures included in the Act will not come into effect until the government issues additional regulations next year, employers that rely on temporary foreign workers may want to familiarize themselves with their forthcoming legal responsibilities.

The Act establishes a registry for recruiters and employers of temporary foreign workers.  Enrollment requires that foreign worker recruiters be individually licensed.  Similarly, employers of temporary foreign workers will be required to be certified before recruiting the services of a temporary foreign worker.  The exact process by which recruiters and employers will apply and be licensed or certified has yet to be defined.

The Act is designed to provide oversight of the actions of recruiters and employers of temporary foreign workers. The Act gives the Director of Employment Standards (the "Director") the power to make inquiries into and conduct investigations of the character, financial history and competence of applicants for registration.

The Director may refuse to register individual recruiters or employers based on a determination that the applicant is not acting or will not act with integrity, honesty or in the public interest, or otherwise in accordance with the law.  In assessing the actions and past conduct of an employer, the Director is empowered to assess whether the employer has failed to comply with relevant employment legislation, such as the Employment Standards Act and the Workers Compensation Act, or the terms of its federal application for retaining temporary foreign workers.

Certificates issued to employers under the Act will be valid for up to 3 years, at which point the employer must reapply.  During the course of certification, the Director retains the power to suspend, cancel, or amend the terms of the certificate.

In addition to establishing a licencing and registration scheme, the Act attempts to regulate the conduct of recruiters and employees.  Section 20 prohibits recruiters and employers from

  • producing or distributing false or misleading information relating to recruitment services, immigration, immigration services, employment, housing for foreign workers or the laws of British Columbia or Canada;
  • taking possession of or retaining a foreign national's passport or other official documents;
  • misrepresenting employment opportunities, including respecting a position, duties, length of employment, wages and benefits or other terms of employment;
  • threatening deportation or other action for which there is no lawful cause; and,
  • taking action against or threatening to take action against a person for participating in an investigation or proceeding by any government or law enforcement agency or for making a complaint or inquiry to any government or law enforcement agency.

The Act will also prohibit recruiters and employers from directly or indirectly charging temporary foreign workers fees or expenses in connection with recruitment services.

The Act empowers the Director to make and enforce a variety of orders in a manner similar to that provided in the Employment Standards Act. Orders may include directions that an individual comply with the Act, compensate a person for a fee charged in contravention of the Act, or pay a monetary penalty in accordance with the (yet to be released) regulations. The Director is permitted to enforce orders through the courts and to order the seizure of assets of individuals or businesses to satisfy any outstanding amounts.

The Act also gives the Director the power to publish identifying information about persons who have contravened the Act.

Employers that employ temporary foreign workers may wish to speak with legal counsel about the potential impact the Act will have on the recruitment of such workers.

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On November 1, 2018, the British Columbia Government tabled Bill 50, Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2018.  The Bill would amend the Human Rights Code to reflect the recommendations contained in the December 2017 report of the Parliamentary Secretary of Sport and Multiculturalism, “A Human Rights Commission for the 21st Century: British Columbians Talk About Human ...

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Last week we posted, “Changes to Labour Relations Code Proposed in New Report” where we outlined some notable recommendations in the panel’s report for amendments to the provincial labour relations code.

This post serves as a reminder to federally-regulated employers of upcoming amendments to the Canada Labour Code (“Code). 

These amendments include:

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    In February 2018, the British Columbia Minister of Labour appointed an independent panel to review the Labour Relations Code (the "Code") and recommend changes. The panel's report was publicly released on October 25, 2018. The report, entitled Recommendations for Amendments to the Labour Relations Code, sets out 29 recommendations.

    Notably, the report recommends:

    • The ...
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    The big day has arrived. On October 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act came into force, legalizing cannabis and related products for recreational use. In our October 17th post we provided some top tips for employers in a previous post.  

    Since the federal government announced legalization, the practical impact of legal cannabis on employers has been unclear, causing a good ...

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    This is probably not the first article you will read today on cannabis. Cannabis is now legal in Canada, but strictly regulated. Due to the intersection between human rights, privacy, and occupational health and safety laws, employers often have a challenging task in ensuring their employees are free from impairment.

    Here are our top tips for employers:

    1. Have an up-to-date ...
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    Last month, human rights issues hit the headlines as former employees of IBM Corp. have filed a class action lawsuit in the United States alleging age discrimination. The former employees claim that IBM has been laying off older employees over the course of a number of years in order to create a younger workforce.

    Closer to home, last year the Public Service Labour Relations ...

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    Much attention has been given to workplace policies and procedures regarding the use of cannabis by employees following the legalisation of the recreational use of cannabis in Canada effective October 17, 2018. Employers should also consider the impact of the change in Canadian law for employees who travel outside of Canada. Legalisation of cannabis in Canada does not ...

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    About Us

    Lawson Lundell's Labour and Employment Law Blog provides updates on the most recent legal developments impacting the Canadian workplace and offers practical tips for employers. We cover a range of topics, including labour relations, employment law, collective bargaining, human rights, employment standards, employment equity, workers' compensation, business immigration, privacy, occupational health and safety and pensions and employee benefits. 

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