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HR notes Ch2-5.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Steve Risavy

Chapter 2Primary objective of employment legislation is to balance power and needs between workers and employers and prevent exploitation of power over each otherCanadian employment is modelled on the US national labor relations act with few differencesoCanadian population are more receptive and accepting of government interventionregulation oEmployers can terminate jobs without reason given reasonable notice prior and employees can quitstrikecease employment without penalty aligned with legislation whereas employeeemployers in USA can terminate without penaltyliability unless theres contractcollective bargaining unit representationoUS employment legislation is centralized Canadas legislation varies with different provinces and thus 14 different jurisdictions regarding employment law A company with employees in different jurisdictions must monitor each current legislationTort law primarily judgebased law has two categories intentional and unintentional tortsTo avoid abundance of complaintsprosecutions in court each jurisdiction government creates special regulatory bodies ie human rights commissions ministries of labour that develop binding rules called regulations evaluate complaints and enforce compliance with the law The Constitution Act is the cornerstone of human rights legislation containing the charter of Rights and Freedoms applying to all levels of government and agencies under their jurisdictionoPrecedes all other laws all legislation must meet Charter standardsoAllows laws to infringe Charter rights if demonstrably justified as reasonable limits in a free and democratic society with the Supreme court being the ultimate interpreter oProvides the following fundamental rights but not limited toFreedom of conscience and religionFreedom of thought belief opinion expression including freedom of pressother media of communicationFreedom of peaceful assemblyFreedom of associationHuman rights legislation protects every person residing in Canada from intentionalunintentional discrimination in employment situationsdelivery of goodsoSupersedes terms of any employment contractcollective agreementIntentional discrimination refers to direct discrimination ie refusing to hiretrainpromote over prohibited grounds such as religion gender whereas unintentional discrimination constructive or systemic discrimination is embedded in policies and practices that may appear neutral but affect specific groups for nonjobrelated reasonsEmployers can discriminate based on bona fide occupational requirements BFOR define as justifiable reasons for business necessity ie blind people cant drive school busses oThe Miorin case establishes 3 main criteria to judge BFOR discriminationWas policyprocedure based on legitimate workrelated purposeDid decision makersother agents honestly believe requirement as necessary to fulfill requirements of roleWas it impossible to accommodate those who have been discriminated against without imposing undue hardship on employeroThe onus of proof falls on the employerHuman rights legislation requires reasonable accommodation to be provided
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