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COVID-19: Answering Employers' Frequently Asked Questions about Novel Coronavirus

2020 | 03 | 18

As of March 18, 2020, 9:30am, 569 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Canada. Cases have been reported in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan. A probable case has also been reported in Newfoundland & Labrador. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) currently notes that most Canadian employees remain at low risk of infection, there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians aged 65 and over, with compromised immune systems, and with underlying medical conditions. There are also increased health risks for Canadian travelers abroad.


COVID-19: Preparing Employers for Novel Coronavirus

2020 | 03 | 10

As of March 10, 2019, COVID-19, a novel coronavirus, has appeared in four provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec; with one reported death in BC.  Although COVID-19 has not yet reached all of Canada, we are reminded daily through news headlines, social media, and even water cooler conversation that there is potential for cases to increase.  While it is important to remember that at this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada notes that without sustained human-to-human transmission, most Canadian employees are not at significant risk of infection, employers should nonetheless be examining their workplace readiness for COVID-19, in an effort to minimize the impact of an outbreak on their businesses and ensure employee health and safety.


‘Tis the Sneezin' – Does the Seasonal Flu Give Rise to the Right to Refuse Work?

2020 | 02 | 13

As the cold weather arrives, so does the flu. The flu poses many challenges for employers, most significantly in regard to worker absences. There’s little doubt that an employer might be motivated by a business interest to encourage workers who are sick with the flu to stay home and rest so they can nip the symptoms in the bud, return to work sooner and avoid passing the flu on to co-workers and causing even more absences. But we all know that many workers will come to work with flu-like symptoms and tough it out for a day or two, feeling they’re still well enough to work (a phenomenon called “presenteeism”).

Taylor McCaffreyArticle

Today is the day! Is your workplace ready for cannabis legalization?

2018 | 10 | 17

Under the Federal Cannabis Act, Canadians who are 18 years of age or older are now permitted to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis


Beyond Testing: Responding to Drugs or Alcohol in the Workplace with Due Diligence in the Mix

2015 | 08 | 10

Ultimately, knowledge of an employee’s drug or alcohol use (whether that knowledge is obtained through testing or otherwise) will typically require an employer to take some kind of job action towards the employee, given due diligence obligations imposed under occupational health and safety legislation to ensure the safety of workers at work.


Dialin’ in the Importance of Safe Driving Policies

2015 | 06 | 10

A survey of laws across Canada reveals that every province and territory, with the exception of Nunavut, has implemented a law against driving while using cell phones.


Domestic Violence Is a Workplace Issue

2015 | 02 | 25

“Do we need to address domestic violence in our violence prevention policy?” This question often comes up when we’re contacted by clients to advise them on workplace violence prevention.


Mandatory Retirement for Safety: Justifiable or Stereotypical?

2014 | 09 | 29

Imposing a mandatory retirement policy for workers who hit a specific age can be a useful and valid way for employers to meet their safety and health obligations. However, employers who implement mandatory retirement policies may have their work cut out for them in demonstrating that the policy is justifiable.


Workplace Safety And Health Regulatory Inspections Vs. Investigations – Charter Rights And Counsel’s Role

2013 | 04 | 17

In the workplace safety and health context, as with many other regulatory offence statues, a health and safety Inspector will both conduct the regulatory inspection and the investigation into impugned conduct.


Balancing Safety and Health Obligations with Human Rights Obligations

2013 | 04 | 04

Given the significant legislative requirements imposed on employers with respect to workplace safety and health, it is probably not surprising that the undue hardship factor with the greatest rate of success has been safety.