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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

Diplomacy trumps labour law for pregnant secretary

About 18 months after Sally began working full time for an employer as a secretary, she gave birth. A few days later she got a Record of Employment in the mail indicating that she was off for a maternity but that she would not be returning because she had been replaced.

Employer will lose even if part of the reason for termination relates to discrimination

Everyone knows that for the first three months an employee is on probation and can be terminated without pay in lieu of notice, right? Well, not always. Not if even part of the reason for the termination relates to a pregnancy.

Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's right

I have a confession to make. It would appear that I could do with some sensitivity training with respect to discrimination in the workplace.

Accommodation required regarding religion but what is undue hardship?

The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of, among other things, religion.  Employers are required to accommodate people with respect to their religion unless that accommodation is an undue hardship.

Abolish human rights tribunals?

Two of the candidates for the leadership of the Ontario Conservative Party are suggesting that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal be abolished. They believe the whole issue of human rights should be handed over to the courts. The suggestion is that this will weed out frivolous nuisance claims.

CNIB and an example of discrimination

The Canadian National Institute for the Blind recently appointed a sighted Chief Executive Officer. Some have been critical of this appointment; claiming that a sighted person could never truly appreciate the circumstances and challenges of a sight-impaired person. At its core, their argument is that unless someone has walked in the shoes of a sight-impaired person, they can’t really do the job.

Explaining the exception clause

In 1995 a woman we will call Sherry began working as a support care worker for people with developmental challenges in a group home setting. The organization that founded and ran the group homes and employed Sherry was an Evangelical Christian organization. It sought to create group homes for its clients which provided not only the support they needed but a Christian environment. It saw its activities in providing these services as part of the call of its faith to perform charitable works and share its beliefs.

Adverse Effect Discrimination

Prohibitions in human rights codes throughout the country against discriminating on the basis of an employee’s age basically mean that no employee should be selected from among others for a disadvantage even in part because of their age. They do not mean that employers have to worry about the effect of routine business decisions on older workers.

Could weight eventually be a term of employment?

Curt Schilling, a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, has agreed to stay on for another year. In addition to $3 million in potential performance bonuses, he can make an extra $2 million by meeting certain weight goals in the contract. It seems like they want Curt trim and fit. The thinner he is, the more money he makes.


In recent years, the literature supporting the importance of breastfeeding has grown. More and more mothers are breastfeeding their children for as long as possible. As this trend continues, employers are going to be asked more often to make accommodations for mothers who are returning to work but want to continue to breastfeed.