HRM855 Final Exam Notes
Part A - Definitions
- consist of 11 words, terms or phrases
- provide a definition and/or explanation for 10
- also describe its role or importance in HRM
- 3 marks each
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 either party.
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
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
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 overide 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
Bargaining unit: a group of employees with a community of interest and working
conditions who may be represented by a trade union and included in one collective
Laches: a legal doctrine that a long neglected right cannot be enforced. This is comparable
to ‘condonation’. If an employer does not enforce a rule for an extended period, then that
rule becomes null, unless the employer re-asserts the right and provides staff with
Common law: Judge made law. As opposed to statutes which are laws passed by the
legislature. Lower courts are bound by the decisions of higher courts in similar cases.
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 required.
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 an employer must complete after a reportable workplace
accident or illness. The employer has 72 hours after being notified of the accident/illness to
submit the Form 7. A copy must be given to the worker.
Critical injury: an injury that must be reported to the Ministry of Labour. It
Places life in jeopardy
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
Equal pay for work of equal value: a pay equity principle requiring that j