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Canada: Ontario Government to Proclaim Significant Amendments Regarding Workplace Safety and Insurance Costs and Penalties for Clients of Temporary Help Agencies

In a statement to a local newspaper, Ontario’s Minister of Labour indicated that the Ontario government will proclaim legislation written three years ago but never enacted – in particular, Schedule 5 of Bill 18 (also known as the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, S.O. 2014, c. 10). This Schedule would require the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to “ascribe injuries and accident costs to the clients of temporary help agencies”, rather than to the temporary help agencies themselves.

Canada: Court of Appeal for Ontario Allows Plaintiff to Personally Sue Employees for Negligence in the Course of Employment

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently overturned the order of a motion judge striking a plaintiff’s claim for damages in negligence against two coffee shop employees. The plaintiff alleged that she had been injured when a barista poured scalding hot water on her hands, and sued both the employee and the manager of the store. The corporation brought a motion to strike the statement of claim against the manager and barista on the basis that it did not disclose a “reasonable cause of action” against either individual, and that the personal naming of the employees was an abuse of process. The Court of Appeal disagreed, finding that the general rule is that an employee acting in the course of his or her employment can be sued personally for breaching a duty of care owed to a customer.

Canada: Proposed Legislation Targets the Wage Gap between Men and Women in Ontario

On March 6, 2018, the Ontario Government introduced Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which outlines a three year plan to increase gender equity, challenge bias and eliminate barriers women face at work, at home and in their communities. The strategy includes the introduction of Bill 203, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, which would require, inter alia, the filing and positing of pay transparency reports by certain employers.

Canada: Canada: Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Criminal Conviction and Prison Sentence for Construction Project Manager

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the conviction and the sentence imposed on a project manager who was the first individual charged under the occupational criminal negligence amendments to the Criminal Code. The project manager had been found guilty for criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison following the collapse of a “swing stage” being used on a construction project in 2009.

Canada: Bill C-65 proposes changes to workplace harassment legislation applicable to federally regulated employers and workplaces

Bill C-65 (An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code (harassment and violence), the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1) targets harassment and violence in federally regulated workplaces. Bill C-65 recently passed second reading in Canada’s House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. As Bill C-65 is a government-sponsored bill, it is likely that it will eventually introduce new obligations for federally regulated employers operating in Canada.