The articles listed below are intended to provide readers with general information only. They should not be regarded or relied upon as legal advice or opinion. Accessing, reading, relying on or otherwise using the articles listed below does not, under any circumstances, create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Emond Harnden. A lawyer-client relationship will only form if and when Emond Harnden specifically and expressly agrees to act for you on a particular matter and executes a retainer agreement to that effect. For more information, please consult our Terms of Use.

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Ontario further reduces list of essential workplaces in response to pandemic

April 3, 2020

Further to the initial order mandating the closure of all non-essential workplaces that took effect on March 24, 2020, the Ontario government has followed the recent advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and reduced the list of essential businesses permitted to continue operating during the current state of emergency in an effort to better protect Ontarians from COVID-19. The reduced list, which can be found here, nonetheless remains fairly extensive and specifically includes some or all businesses in the following sectors: · Supply Chains · Food · Services · Financial Services · Telecommunications and IT Infrastructure/Service Providers · …

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Federal Government Introduces Increased Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

April 2, 2020

As all Canadians adjust to a new “normal” in the era of COVID-19, many employers – whether they continue to operate as an essential service or not – are facing significant economic uncertainty. Since March 18, 2020, the federal government has announced a number of economic measures to stabilize the economy, including billions of dollars in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses. One of the measures which is intended specifically to assist employers in continuing to pay their employees and avoiding lay-offs where possible is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.   What is the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy The…

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COVID-19 Emergency Response Act Receives Royal Assent

March 26, 2020

On March 25, 2020, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act (Bill C-13) received Royal Assent. The legislation outlines broad amendments and measures to address wide-ranging economic and other issues arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have included below some of the key provisions that are most relevant for employers. Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act The COVID-19 Emergency Response Act enacts the Canada Emergency Response Benefit Act (the “Act”), to provide for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This benefit replaces both the Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit previously announced by the Government of Canada…

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Ontario Government Makes Emergency Order for Staffing and Redeployment for Health Service Providers Due to COVID-19

March 25, 2020

On March 17, 2020, the Ontario Government declared an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (the “Act”) as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 21, the Government filed a further Order under the Act providing certain health service providers with broad authority to address staffing and work deployment needs relating to COVID-19.   Application of the Order The Order applies province-wide to the following health service providers: Public hospitals under the Public Hospitals Act; Private hospitals under the Private Hospitals Act; Psychiatric facilities under the Mental Health Act, except facilities that are correctional institutions, prisons…

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Ontario Government Files Emergency Order and Amends Regulations Relating to Long-Term Care Homes in Response to COVID-19. Also Amends Retirement Homes Act Regulation

Public health authorities have advised that the elderly and people with underlying chronic or immunocompromising medical conditions are particularly at risk from COVID-19. There have also been concerns raised about the health care system’s ability to provide the level of care and service that may be needed if COVID-19 cases surge. The Ontario Government has made regulatory changes to address the needs of long-term care homes during the pandemic. On March 20, the Government filed amendments to Regulation 79/10 under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007. The purposes of the amendments are to: Protect the health and safety of long-term…

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Remote Work Considerations: An Employer’s Guide

As the world manages its way through the current COVID-19 global pandemic, employers are required to act quickly to implement remote work arrangements. The urgency in implementing such arrangements has only become greater since the government of Ontario announced the closure of all non-essential workplaces effective March 24th, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. For more information see our Focus alert Ontario orders mandatory closure of non-essential workplaces. As a consequence of this announcement, remote work arrangements may become the only option for some non-essential workplaces to continue some or all of their operations for the duration of the closure. Although the…

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Ontario orders mandatory closure of non-essential workplaces

March 24, 2020

To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces to be effective as of March 24, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This order will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of being extended as the situation evolves. For the purposes of this order, businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described therein. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on the list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Furthermore, teleworking and online commerce are permitted…

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Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan

March 20, 2020

On March 18, 2020, the federal government announced a new set of economic measures to support workers and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to those facing hardship as a result of COVID-19.   Temporary Income Support for Workers and Parents The federal government has introduced measures to support Canadian workers who do not have paid sick leave (or similar workplace accommodation) who are sick, quarantined, or forced to stay home to care for children. For these individuals, the government will: waive the one-week waiting period for Employment Insurance (EI)…

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Ontario expands ESA job-protected leaves for COVID-19

On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Legislature met in an emergency session and passed Bill 186 – the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020, to amend the job-protected leaves of absence under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). Bill 186 repeals much of the existing Declared Emergency Leave provisions and replaces it with a new leave called “Emergency leave: declared emergencies and infectious disease emergencies.” These measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020, the date the first presumptive COVID-19 case was confirmed in Ontario.   Declared Emergencies The amended declared emergency leave remains available if an employee cannot…

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Arbitration decision clarifies vacation entitlements for part-time and casual employees – Hospital’s method correct

March 12, 2020

A recent arbitration centred on the proper calculation of vacation entitlements for part-time and casual employees under the CUPE Central hospital collective agreement. The resulting decision will be very positive for many employers in the hospital sector. In Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 942 (January, 2020), the issue was whether part-time and casual employees were being provided the proper amount of time off as vacation under Article 17.01 of the CUPE Central hospital collective agreement. Emond Harnden’s Porter Heffernan and Sébastien Huard were successful in demonstrating to the Board of Arbitration (the “Board”)…

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Ontario Labour Relations Board issues first decision regarding workers in the “gig economy” – food-app couriers permitted to unionize

March 9, 2020

In Canadian Union of Postal Workers v. Foodora Inc. d.b.a. Foodora (February, 2020) the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) found that couriers working for Foodora, an online food delivery company, were dependent contractors and therefore “employees” under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“Act”). This ground-breaking decision is expected to have far-reaching implications in the modern “gig-economy”. The case arose as a result of an application for certification by the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (“CUPW”) to be the exclusive bargaining agent for the couriers working for Foodora. According to CUPW, the couriers were dependent contractors falling within the definition of…

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Planning for COVID-19 in the workplace – obligations and considerations for employers

March 5, 2020

COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan City, China in late 2019. Initially known as “2019 Novel Coronavirus,” the first case was reported on December 31, 2019, with confirmation and identification occurring on January 7th, 2020. As of March 5, 2020, there were 34 confirmed cases in Canada (20 in Ontario, 13 in British Columbia and one in Quebec). On March 2, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it is implementing enhanced measures to safeguard the public from COVID-19 including a new response structure to ensure health system readiness. As the instances of COVID-19 increase throughout Canada and the world, employers…

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Federal government seeks feedback on exemptions and modifications to the new “hours of work” provisions of the Canada Labour Code

March 4, 2020

As many readers of Focus will recall, Part III of the Canada Labour Code (“Code”) was recently amended to provide certain rights and entitlements to federally-regulated employees relating to hours of work (see “Federal Government Proposes Significant Amendments to the Canada Labour Code in Bill C-86” and “Federal Government appoints expert panel to advise on further changes to the Canada Labour Code” for more details). Commonly referred to as the “hours of work” provisions, the amendments came into force on September 1, 2019 although not with “full application”. Pursuant to Interpretation, Policy and Guideline 101 (“IPG-101”), entitled “Scope of Application”…

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VOTE Joël Rocque for the 2020 CCLA Board of Trustees!

January 27, 2020

We are excited to announce that our very own Joël Rocque is running for a seat on the 2020 CCLA Board of Trustees! Fully bilingual, Joël has a solid experience in labour and employment law, education law and privacy law. A fresh perspective, great energy, perfectly bilingual – these are just some of the reasons why Joël won us over! He would be a great addition to the CCLA Board of Trustees and has our full support! More about the elections:

Safety sensitive helicopter operation not allowed random drug and alcohol testing

January 10, 2020

The recent arbitral decision in OPEIU and Cougar Helicopters Inc has reiterated the high bar employers must meet to justify random drug and alcohol testing in safety-sensitive workplaces. The Employer, Cougar Helicopters, operates offshore air transport services for the oil and gas industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, and performs deep water search-and-rescue and medevac flights. Cougar’s unionized workforce consists of pilots, weather observers, radio operators, and search-and-rescue cabin crew. Most of Cougar’s employees occupy safety-sensitive positions, and Cougar has adopted a proactive Safety Management System to mitigate workplace risks. Cougar’s proactive safety strategy includes a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy….

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