Have you heard the latest news?
Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business. Plus get up-to-the-minute commentary on all things HR and legal.
So, let's check out this week's headlines..
Back on track for injured workers
Employers in British Columbia (B.C.) will need to show extra attention and care to employees injured on the job because they're about to get some new protections. Employers will have an obligation to return injured workers to their same job, with the same pay, whenever they're fit to resume work.
BC's Ministry of Labour announced that this new statutory duty, an amendment legislated in the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, will come into force at the beginning of 2024 . This new protection will provide further cushioning to get injured workers back on track. In addition to existing human rights legislation that requires employers to accommodate returning injured workers to the point of undue hardship.
So, B.C. employers take note, you'll be required to cooperate with injured workers and restore them to the positions they occupied pre-injury or offer them work of equal value and pay if the role is already filled or they can't perform their previous duties. Employers who fail to comply with these new requirements will put themselves at risk of administrative penalties. Learn how Bright Advice can help you stay compliant with new legislation and avoid expensive penalties.
Subtracting discrimination, adding inclusion
A recent Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruling held that an oil company's decision not to hire an otherwise highly qualified candidate because they were not a Canadian citizen was discriminatory.
The applicant was legally entitled to work anywhere in Canada, as stipulated on their Post Graduate Work Permit. Trouble began after the candidate was offered the job after a round of interviews. The employer then requested documents to show they were a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. But , when the applicant could not provide proof of Canadian citizenship, the employer revoked the job offer.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC), freedom from discrimination based on citizenship is a protected characteristic, and employers are not allowed to discriminate against candidates based on whether they are Canadian citizens or not. They should be offered the job as long as they're qualified, have passed all the required checks, and are legally entitled to work in Canada.
As an employer in Canada, you should be wary of this and review your recruitment policies often to be sure they're inclusive and non-discriminatory. Skipping this step puts you at risk of discrimination claims being filed against you based on citizenship or other protected characteristics that could leave your business vulnerable to hefty fines. To help you avoid situations like this, learn more about how to prevent workplace discrimination.
Potty parity for delivery persons
Good news for delivery people getting pressed on the job in Manitoba. Business owners are mandated to give them access to their washroom facilities if they're making or picking up a delivery.
This requirement is in line with the Workplace Safety and Health Amendment Act (Access to Washrooms for Delivery Persons). Many employers rely on delivery people to get their goods/services to their customers. But believe it or not, many of these vital delivery workers are denied access to washroom facilities. This legislation is part of a larger effort to protect vulnerable workers and ensure they can do their jobs with the respect they deserve.
From now on, employers in Manitoba can only refuse a delivery person access to their washrooms if it'll pose a health and safety risk to anyone else in the workplace, if it can only be accessed through a dwelling or if it'll place undue hardship on the employer.
That's it for today! Come back next week for more HR news so you stay ahead of major employment law changes.