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Ottawa General Practice Law Blog

Determining whether harassment violates human rights

When you took a job with your employer, you expected that your new workplace would be free from harassment and discrimination. That may have happened for a while, but before long, you realised that you were not receiving the basic protections you deserve. 

The harassment may have started small, but now, the thought of even going to work may cause you anxiety, stress and frustration. You need to know what to do next and may wonder whether the treatment you experience at work violates your human rights under Ontario law.

Workplace Safety Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic: What Employers Should Know.

During the global Covid-19 pandemic, employers must carefully manage their responsibilities for workplace health and safety.

J'ai été congédié de façon injustifiée. Que faire maintenant ?

Le travail est l'un des aspects les plus fondamentaux de la vie d'une personne, un moyen de subvenir à ses besoins financiers et, ce qui est tout aussi important, de jouer un rôle utile dans la société. L'emploi est une composante essentielle du sens de l'identité d'une personne, de sa valorisation t de son bien-être sur le plan émotionnel.

I have been laid-off, can I sue my employer for wrongful dismissal?

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, businesses have been forced to consider lay-offs as a way to save money as demand for goods and services decreases. Lay-offs are a complex area of the law which is further complicated by the misconception that employers have an automatic right to lay people off.

My employment was terminated without cause. Now what?

Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person's life,
providing the individual with a means of financial support and,
as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person's employment is
an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth and
emotional well-being. Accordingly, the conditions in which a person
works are highly significant in shaping the whole compendium of
psychological, emotional and physical elements of a person's dignity
and self-respect.

[Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, Brian Dickson]

Are you planning to take leave from work to have a baby?

Having a baby is often a time of joyful expectation. Those early weeks after birth are critical. It is a time of bonding and adjustment, so you will probably be taking time off from your job. Under certain conditions, Ontario law allows you to take leave from work to welcome a new child, either by birth or adoption.

If the Employment Standards Act applies to your place of employment, you may qualify for pregnancy and parental leave. ESA leave includes up to 17 weeks for your pregnancy and another 61 weeks after the child is born. It is important that you check with your employer early to confirm that these rights apply to you or if there are other ways that you can get time off when your child comes.

Is your boss trying to force you to quit?

You may be among the many who fantasize about walking away from their jobs. When your job gets stressful, it may be satisfying and even comforting to think of leaving behind a toxic and unfair work environment and perhaps forcing your employer to scramble to find someone of your caliber to replace you.

In real life, however, there are serious ramifications for quitting a job. The most painful may be that you lose the right to termination pay and any other benefits for which you qualify if your employer fires you. On the other hand, you may feel that recent changes your employer made have caused your situation to be unbearable. In fact, you may have legal options if your employer has given you no choice but to quit.

Can my employer force me to work overtime?

Whether you love your job or dread going to work, the fact is that it helps to pay your bills. You may even find comfort during a long shift in remembering your plans for your money, such as paying off a debt, saving for vacation or restocking your pantry at the end of the week. In fact, you may even look forward to overtime and the extra wages.

While time is certainly money if you are an hourly employee, you may feel that your workday is unreasonably long. If you have family responsibilities or other obligations, you may worry when your boss says you have to stay past your scheduled time. Those overtime hours may seem attractive, but what if your employer does not give you the option of working longer hours?

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