HRM855 Midterm Notes
Part A - Definitions
- consists 14 words, terms or phrases
- provide a definition and/or explanation for 10 of these
- also need to describe its role or importance in HRM
- each worth 3 marks
Consideration: something of value given in return for performance or a promise of performance.
Required along with an offer and acceptance to form a contract.
Stare decisis: ‘to stand by that which was decided’. The legal principle requiring courts to follow the
rulings (precedent) of higher courts in similar cases.
Burden of proof: the duty of a party to substantiate an allegation. In dismissals the employer has the
burden of proof. In civil cases the standard to be met is ‘probability’.
Promissory estoppel: estoppel creates an inability to assert a right. If an employee acts on the promise
of a supervisor not to punish the employee for that action, then the organization cannot punish the
employee for that action.
Frustration of Contract (intent): when a contract becomes impossible to perform through no fault of
Undue hardship: the point at which an employer need not accommodate a worker as it would alter the
essential nature of the enterprise, produce a significant safety risk, contravene a collective agreement or
substantially affect the economic viability of the organization.
Restrictive covenant: an agreement that restricts an employee’s activities during and after employment.
Usually restricts them from contacting clients. Unenforceable unless restricted in time and geography
and shown as necessary to protect the interests of the organization.
Inducement: promises made to a prospective employee to help convince them to join an organization.
These can be considered part of the employment contract.
Rule of Law: “a legal maxim that suggests that no one is above the law and governmental decisions
must be made only by applying known legal and moral principles”. In Canada its constitutional origin
traces back to Magna Carta.
Systemic discrimination: policies, procedures or attitudes which appear to be neutral but that have
discriminatory effects. Unintended discrimination usually based on past practice. Employment at will: an American concept that eliminates the need for either party in an employment
relationship to provide notice. This does not apply in Canada which follows a more traditional
master/servant approach to employment relationships.
The ‘notwithstanding’ clause: Section 33 of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms (1982) allowing
the federal or provincial governments to override a charter provision as long as the legislation
specifically states that it is doing so and its duration is limited to 5 years. The restriction of the use of
the English language in Quebec is the result of the use of this clause.
Common law: judge made law. Rulings, precedent and principles that have developed through court
decisions. These apply where there are no statutes or where a statute is silent on the relevant point.
Competency: the Occupational Health & Safety Act requires employers to have a competent person
supervise work. A competent person is i) qualified because of knowledge, training and experience, ii) is
familiar with the Occupational Health & Safety Act, iii) has knowledge of any potential or actual danger
to health and safety in the workplace.
Due diligence: demonstration by the party with the burden of proof that they took all reasonable steps
Constructive dismissal: ‘deemed termination’. When an employer unilaterally and significantly alters
the terms of employment the employee may consider themselves to be dismissed. Employees may
have up to 2 months to try the changes.
Form 7: The WSIB form that employers are required to complete and submit within 72 hours of
learning of a reportable workplace accident. The employee must also receive a copy of this form.
Critical injury: an injury that must be reported to the Ministry of Labour. It
• Places life in jeopardy
• Produces unconsciousness
• Results in substantial loss of blood
• Involves the fracture of an arm or leg
• Involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot
• Consists of burns to a major part of the body
• Causes the loss of sight in an eye
WHMIS: the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. A regulation requiring that workers: i)
receive training in hazardous materials, ii) that all hazardous materials are labelled, iii) that Material
Safety Data Sheets are available for all hazardous materials.
• Internal Responsibility System: the system that Occupational Health & Safety is based on in
Ontario. It requires that workers i) participate, ii) have the right to ‘know’, iii) have the right to
refuse unsafe work. Participation is usually through a Joint Health & Safety Committee.
• Equal pay for work of equal value: a pay equity principle requiring that jobs be ranked and that
their pays scales are based on the i) skill, ii) effort, iii) responsibility, iv) working conditions of
Just cause: where the action of an employee has irrevocably broken the bonds/trust required for a
workable relationship. In union environments employees normally can only be dismissed with just
cause. Just cause dismissals do not usually require termination and/or severance Bargaining unit: a group of employees with a commonality of interest, usually requiring similar skills
and/or working conditions. A collective agreement will apply to a specific bargaining unit.
Bumping rights: a clause in the collective agreement allowing an employee with seniority to displace
(take the job) of an employee with less seniority, during a period of lay-offs.
No Board report: a report issued by a Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator after consulting with
both parties in a labour dispute. Once the report is issued there is a 14 day cooling off period before a
strike or lock-out may commence.
Wrongful dismissal: when an employer incorrectly alleges just cause for a dismissal.
Arbitration: when an agreed upon neutral 3 party makes a decision that is binding on both parties.
Contractor: someone engaged in their own business. This is decided by a number of factors including i)
the risk of profit/loss, ii) ownership of equipment, iii) integration into the business, iv) ability to
subcontract, v) control of working conditions.
Part B - Mandatory Postings
- know the posters, signs, certificates and/or information that is required by law to be posted in a
provincially regulated workplace in Ontario
- worth 10 marks
1. The Occupational Health & Safety Act (the Greenbook).
2. The organization’s Health & Safety Policy.
3. The organization’s Workplace Violence Policy.
4. The organization’s Workplace Harassment Policy.
5. The organization’s Accessibility Policy (for any organization that provides goods or services to
6. The list of Joint Health & Safety Committee members and their work locations.
7. Minutes of the Safety Committee meetings.
8. The MOL issued Permit to Work Excess Hours (where workers may work more than 48 hours in a
9. Certificates of all trained first aid providers and their work locations (where 6 or more workers
are regularly employed).
10. The WSIB ‘In Case of Injury’ poster.
11. The MOL ‘What You Should Know About the Ontario Employment Standards Act’ poster.
12. The MOL ‘Health & Safety at Work’ poster.
13. Floor plan and emergency escape routes.
14. Any MOL compliance orders or reports.
15. The Material Safety Data Sheets for any hazardous materials. Part C - Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination
- explain the prohibited grounds for discrimination in regards to employment in the province of
- worth 20 marks
refers to family decent
closely related to place of origin
3. Place of Origin
country or region of birth, including Canada
as in skin colour
5. Ethnic Origin
basis of citizenship status
can only be allowed in the following case(s)...
o where the law re