Chapter 2 - Legal Framework for Employment Law in Canada.docx

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Department
Human Resources Management
Course
HRM 200
Professor
Katrina Di Gravio
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 2: Legal Framework Legal Framework for Employment Law in Canada  Constitutional Law  Legislated Acts of Parliament  Regulations  Common Law  Contract Law Multiple Jurisdictions for Employment/Labor Law  HR department should have knowledge on all the laws in each of the provinces  Provincial/Territorial Employment laws govern 90% of Canadian workers  Laws that are different from province to province o Benefits o Minimum wage, paid holidays, vacation – Current in Ontario: 10.75; Serving Liquor: $8.90 o Overtime rules o Taxes o Human Rights o Maternity, parenting and adoption leaves o Bereavement and compassionate care leave o Termination notice and overtime pay Legislation Protecting Human Rights  Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees fundamental freedoms to all Canadians  Section 15: right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination Discrimination  Distinction, exclusion or preference based on a prohibited ground which nullifies or impairs a person’s rights to full and equal recognition and exercise of human rights and freedoms  November 2010: Indian and Sikh both spoke Punjabi in front of co-workers and Manager said the language made everyone felt uncomfortable and even though these two were great employees, they were both laid off. They filed a discrimination case based on race, ethnicity, ancestor origin, and creed. Company said they were laid off due to economic issues and because they lack teamwork and transferable skills. None of these were documented and they did not get a chance to prove themselves. Human Rights Tribunal said it could be an indicator for discrimination based on race, ethnicity, place of origin. Employer’s comments based on race and ethnicity. Each were awarded $3,000.00 for loss of dignity. One found work elsewhere and one was awarded $18,000 for loss wages.  What are prohibitive grounds? o Where you cannot discriminate such as: age, gender, religion, race, disabilities, orientation, language, source of income, political belief etc. Types of Discrimination Prohibited  Intentional: o Direct – tell you directly; sign that says you are not allowed to go on a ride due to height o Differential/unequal – one is treated differently than another o Indirectly – through innuendos o Based on association – member of a group  Unintentional (constructive/systemic – policies that are not supposed to be there but is.) o Ex: Airline services – height and weight was a requirement for a job so it was discriminatory but it was built into policies which had to be re- written. The laws have just not been looked into o Word of mouth hiring policies, job evaluation systems that are not gender-neutral, limited accessibility to company premises Requirement for Reasonable Accommodation  Adjustment of employment policies/practices so that no individual is o Denied benefits o Disadvantaged in employment o Prevented from carrying out a job  It has to be based on prohibited grounds in human rights legislation. Only times when you can not comply is if there is undue hardship or safety hazard.  Example: workplace re-design or need for wheelchair has to be accommodated for. Starbucks Scenario  Is it possible to hire and accommodate an applicant with a hearing disability for this job?  Imagine you are the manager of Starbucks and are looking to hire someone to be on front line customer service which requires employees to take down customer orders and convey them to other baristas  Employers are afraid to go the extra mile to see what accomodations they can make Undue Hardship  Human Rights legislation mandates that employers must accommodate to point of “undue hardship”: the point where financial cost or health and safety make accommodation impossible. UWaterloo Policy  UW has policy 33 – Ethical Behavior on general principles, specific principles on human rights, violations, advice and support Permissible Discrimination Bona Fide Occupational Requirement  Justifiable reason for discrimination  Must be based on business necessity for safe and efficient operations  Intrinsically required by job tasks.  Ex: if a truck driver cannot see and has to drive the truck, it is a necessity in the job description and hence he cannot drive RECAP  Discrimination – based on prohibitive grounds, distinct  Two types of discrimination – intentional and unintentional  Reasonable accommodation – do anything to accommodate employee on the level of undue hardship (financial) or safety risk  BFOR – Bonafide Occupational Requirement or Qualification Harassment  Unwelcome behavior that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person and that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome  Examples: public humiliation, racial slurs, sexual harassment, bullying (harassment and Occupational Health and Safety Code), sarcasm (makes a person feeling embarrassed), threat, vandalism, practical jokes, leering (suggestive staring), unwelcome physical contact Sexual Harassment  Offensive humiliating behavior related to a person’s sex, behavior of sexual nature that creates an intimidating, unwelcome, hostile or offensive work environment  Sexual Coercion – harassment of a sexual nature that results in direct consequence to the worker’s employment status or some gain in or loss of tangible job benefits – threat to job status (Gain or loss)  Sexual annoyance – sexually related conduct that is hostile, intimidating or offensive to employee but no direct link to tangible job benefits or loss thereof – example: asking someone out multiple times when they say no  Harassment is in the mind of the person who is a receiver of the threat. If a male coworkers tells a female coworker they smell great in multiple ways and female feels creeped out – sexual annoyance  It can be very devastating to the workplace and psychological effect to many Harassment Policies  To reduce liability, employers should o Establish sound harassment policies o Communicate such policies to all employees o Enforce policies in a fair and consistent manner  Clear workplace anti-harassment policy statement  Information for victims  Employees’ rights and responsibilities  Clear workplace anti-harassment policy procedures  Guidelines for appeals  How the policy will be monitored and adjusted RECAP:  Harassment – behaviors that a person knows or ought to know are unacceptable  Two types of sexual harassment – sexual coercion and sexual annoyance  What should be included in a harassment policy – informat
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