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Ottawa Employment, Elder and Municipal Law Blog

Elder abuse in Ontario is on the rise

Unfortunately, it appears that abuse against elders is on the rise in Ontario. The Sarnia-Lambton Elder Abuse Awareness Network (SLEAAN) is doing its part to try to keep seniors safe, and they say that all people, regardless of age, need to take the problem more seriously. This abuse can come in many forms, including physical, sexual, financial, emotional or spiritual abuse or through neglect.

A SLEAAN spokesperson recently gave a talk at a local Kiwanis Club meeting about how to identify those who are suffering from elder abuse. What most people don't realize is that when they treat an elderly person like a child, that too could actually be considered elder abuse. In addition, other forms can include not giving someone his or her medication, pilfering money or physical assault. 

Ontario woman, 68, facing charges regarding elder abuse

A 68-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the Ontario Provincial Police's East Algoma Detachment recent investigation of a complaint about the unsanitary living conditions of an elderly man living in Elliot Lake. The alleged elder abuse in the Ontario community mainly populated be seniors showed that a large quantity of money had been stolen from the man and that many legal documents were forged using his name. The authorities believe there may be more victims in the community and in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

The woman has been charged with failing to provide the necessities of life; criminal breach of trust; theft over $5,000; 14 counts of theft under $5,000; 14 counts of fraud under $5,000; 14 counts of making forged documents and 14 counts of use, deals, acts on forged document. The incident was investigated by the OPP Crime Unit, Scenes of Crime Officer and uniform members under the direction of the OPP's Criminal Investigation Branch. Police are asking those who believe they are also the victims of the accused to call their nearest OPP detachment.

Employee rights: On-the-job sexual harassment is unacceptable

It is every person's right to go to a workplace that is safe and free of harassment. All Ontario workers have employee rights in every vocation, including those in the service industry. The restaurant industry in Canada is offering training on sexual harassment after a prominent Alberta chef and restaurant owner was accused of sexually assaulting a staff member at a staff party.

In light of these types of incidents, a number of restaurants in Ottawa along with women's advocates and unions started Order's Up, -- campaign offering online tools for local workers in the food and beverage industry to report experiences of sexual assault, intimidation and harassment, anonymously. Order Up has received funding through a Justice Canada grant. It's also being supported by Unifor, the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women and the Sexual Assault Network.

The Tipping Point: An Employee's Right to Gratuities

Many workers across Ontario benefit from tips and other gratuities. Depending on their circumstances, they may rely significantly on tips to help earn a comfortable living. So what happens if as an employee, you aren't getting the tips that you've earned?

With Ontario's Protecting Employees' Tips Act, workers are protecting against unfair withholding, unlawful returning, and other illegal behavior related to gratuity earnings.

Protecting Yourself From Workplace Harassment

Everybody has the right to work in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. This right is guaranteed through both the Human Rights Code and the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Despite these reassurances, employees throughout Ontario’s workforce regularly experience hostility and harassment on the job.

When your rights are being violated, you are entitled to protection and support. Taking the time to know and understand how to navigate workplace harassment issues can go a long way in keeping you safe.

Protecting Yourself And Loved Ones Against Financial Fraud

With the ageing process comes the need to evolve and adapt to accommodate inevitable changes. From managing physical concerns to planning for retirement and beyond, the needs of seniors are markedly different than those of their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, an additional matter that older Canadians have to contend with is protecting themselves against fraud.

Elder abuse in the form of fraud is the number one crime against older Canadians for a range of reasons. Criminals often believe that the elderly may have more money as a result of decades of saving or they may take advantage of the fact that seniors are more likely to be at home. Regardless of the motivation behind the crime, fraud against the elderly can have catastrophic consequences.

Understanding Elder Abuse

As a significant part of our population inches closer to old age, elder abuse continues to be a pressing topic. Defined as a “single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where this an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person”, elder abuse can take many shapes.

Part of preventing and stopping elder abuse is knowing how to recognize it and taking action to ensure that others are protected.

Mental Health, Addiction, And The Workplace

Living with a mental health disability or addiction is hard. Having to navigate daily life in a workplace unwilling to accommodate these issues is even harder. While there are laws in place to protect employees with mental health issues or addiction, not every employer is compliant. The result? Workers who are unable to perform to the best of their abilities.

As an employee who has a mental health disability or addictions, knowledge is power. Understanding your rights and your employer's obligations can go a long way in ensuring that your work life is as fulfilling as possible.

The Residue Of The Estate

A testator may direct specific gifts, known as bequests, to certain surviving friends and family, and then leave the remainder of his or her estate to a surviving spouse or child. This remainder, known as the “residue”, typically includes items like the house or a car.

However, the rest of the estate may be used to pay off debts, taxes and other outstanding expenses. Which could mean the beneficiary of the residue may be left with nothing. So how do you protect yourself if you are the beneficiary of the remainder of an estate?