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Hamilton Employment Law

Ed Canning has been practicing exclusively in the areas of employment law and human rights for 23 years in the City of Hamilton, representing both employers and employees. For 20 years, he has been writing a bi-weekly column in The Hamilton Spectator on employment law and human rights issues that are of interest to both employers and employees. In this blog, you can have access to approximately 500 articles on various subject matters ranging from Employment Standards Act issues, wrongful dismissal issues to human rights issues.

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Blog Posts

RELEASE DEADLINE MEANS NOTHING

Today I offer up a nugget of information that might save you considerable anxiety should you ever be terminated and receive a severance offer. 
 

DEFINING HARASSMENT, SEXUAL AND OTHER

There is a commonly held mistaken belief that there is a law against harassing employees.  In fact, there really is no such law.  It is almost astounding how often I hear of situations in which employees are accusing their employer of harassment.  The term harassment is used as if the very utterance of the phrase should make employers quake in their boots.  The phrase is spoken as if harassment is a legal concept recognized by all courts and leading to dire consequences for the perpetrator.  None of this is the case.  The only legal context in which harassment has any meaning is the Ontario Human Rights Code.  It prohibits sexual harassment and harassment generally on the basis of one’s age, colour, creed, etc.  If you are being harassed as a result of one of those factors, there are indeed legal consequences for that behaviour.
 

DEFINING HARASSMENT, SEXUAL AND OTHER

There is a commonly held mistaken belief that there is a law against harassing employees.  In fact, there really is no such law.  It is almost astounding how often I hear of situations in which employees are accusing their employer of harassment.  The term harassment is used as if the very utterance of the phrase should make employers quake in their boots.  The phrase is spoken as if harassment is a legal concept recognized by all courts and leading to dire consequences for the perpetrator.  None of this is the case.  The only legal context in which harassment has any meaning is the Ontario Human Rights Code.  It prohibits sexual harassment and harassment generally on the basis of one’s age, colour, creed, etc.  If you are being harassed as a result of one of those factors, there are indeed legal consequences for that behaviour.
 

RIGHT TO PRIVACY TO BECOME LAW

The Ontario Government is considering a draft piece of privacy legislation that will significantly impact the way employers handle confidential information arising out of pension and benefit plans. 
Traditionally, employers have always respected that employees have the right to privacy with respect to what treatments and medications for which they are seeking compensation through the benefits plan and with respect to the details of their pension entitlements.
 

RIGHT TO PRIVACY TO BECOME LAW

The Ontario Government is considering a draft piece of privacy legislation that will significantly impact the way employers handle confidential information arising out of pension and benefit plans. 
Traditionally, employers have always respected that employees have the right to privacy with respect to what treatments and medications for which they are seeking compensation through the benefits plan and with respect to the details of their pension entitlements.
 

GENEROUS AWARD FOR WRONGFUL DISMISSAL

A man we will call Jimmy worked as the regional manager of a trucking company in British Columbia for almost 18 years.

DON'T LIE TO WSIB

A man we will call Ted started working a company in 1997 as a labourer.  A year later, having proved himself as a valuable employee, he was promoted to the position of welder.   In October of 1999, while helping a supervisor lift a heavy piece of metal, he strained his back..  His supervisor told him to rest in the lunch room and see if the pain in his lower back subsided. 
 

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT EXPLAINED

QUESTION: Until recently, I was the general manager of a company.  After 5 years of service, the chief executive officer told me that he was tired of me undermining and questioning his authority (I thought we had a good relationship) and that he was letting me go.  He told me that he would be forwarding me a letter offering me 11 weeks’ wages.  Is this right? Can he do this?
 

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT EXPLAINED

QUESTION: Until recently, I was the general manager of a company.  After 5 years of service, the chief executive officer told me that he was tired of me undermining and questioning his authority (I thought we had a good relationship) and that he was letting me go.  He told me that he would be forwarding me a letter offering me 11 weeks’ wages.  Is this right? Can he do this?
 

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A WSIB CLAIM?

QUESTION: I worked as half of a 2 person driving team with my husband driving a transport truck.  One day I was in the back of the cab putting away supplies when a small fridge fell off a shelf above me and landed on my head.  I have been on WSIB now for some time and have been told that my head, neck and back injuries will take a long time to heal.  My doctors have told me that chronic pain has set in and that it is very likely that I will  never return to driving truck.  I have no idea what to do next.  I cannot imagine finding work that I can do that would pay me anywhere near the same money I made working with my husband.  Do you have any ideas?