Although much attention has been focused on the increase to the provincial minimum wage, it is important to note that Bill 148 introduced many additional amendments and with marijuana in the workplace only months away, yesterday's presentation, located in Brampton, was pertinent.
It was a jam-packed morning with Damien Buntsma, Associate Counsel with Miller Thomson LLP, presenting current and future changes. The presentation was divided into 3 parts: Bill 148, Marijuana: Controlled Substances in the Workplace and RWT & Mental Health. Summary of areas covered is below.
- Minimum wage
- Equal Pay for Equal Work (effective April 1, 2018)
- Paid Vacation
- Public Holiday Calculation
- Overtime Pay
- Personal Emergency Leave
- Leaves of Absences
- Temporary Help Agencies
- Classification of Employees
Labour Relations Act:
- Card-based Certification
- Automatic Remedial Certification
- First Agreement after Certification
- Disclosure of Employee Information
- Successor Rights
- Just Cause Protection
- Reinstatement After Strike
Occupational Health & Safety Act:
- Footwear with Heels
Marijuana: Controlled Substances in the Workplace:
- Should be treated the same as other drugs under the workplace policy
- Can I accommodate:
- Is the employee going to harm others?
- Is the employee going to harm himself/herself?
- Can the employee do the essentials of their job?
- Update workplace policies to address marijuana use – drug and alcohol policy; accommodation; etc
- Ensure policies reflect any safety concerns with medical drug use
- Request medical proof of prescription and medical documentation that employee must ingest marihuana during work hours
- Train management and supervisory staff on application of all policies with respect to medical and non-medical marijuana use in the workplace
Return to Work and Mental Health:
- An employee’s privacy concerns do not “trump” an employer’s entitlement to access reasonable and sufficient medical information for legitimate purposes.
- Employers should clarify any ambiguous medical information before making a decision about an employee’s on-going employment.
- Where an employee with a mental health disability returns to work through an accommodation plan, the employer must ensure that they follow up with the employee and consider their accommodation when making changes to the workplace.
- Chronic mental stress is now included in the Workplace Safety Insurance Act
- Work-related traumatic mental stress could be the result of being subjected to harassment or bullying such as humiliating jokes, demeaning conduct or persistent criticism by a co-worker over several years.
Very special thanks to Damien and the members who attended!
(For more detailed information on the various elements of Bill 148 – please refer directly to the Act on the Ontario.ca website.)