If you were lucky enough to get a seat to our very popular HR Legal Update held on September 28th, you were probably pleased to hear Carol VandenHoek, Partner at Miller Thomson, speak.

Carol shared the latest in the world of HR legal compliance and brought with her some real world case examples to help us better understand the legal environment we are working in. Carol’s main points were surrounding the uncertainty of Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act which was recently implemented on January 1, 2018. She also spoke to the changing legal landscape surrounding:

  • Minimum Wage increase to $15/hour effective January 1, 2019 is on hold.
  • No word on if the scheduling or “On Call” employee changes will be placed on hold. 3 hour rule is still to be implemented as planned for January 1, 2019.
  • Equal pay for Equal Work became in effect April 1, 2018. This is really supposed to prohibit a difference in pay based on employment status, sex or affiliation with a temporary help agency. Can still have other reasons for differing wages and such items as seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production are permissible.
  • Personal Emergency Leave, 10 days with first two used being paid, remainder 8 does not have to be paid but must provide time off, no doctor’s note but may require reasonable evidence.
  • Pay Transparency Act is new and is effective January 1, 2019. It requires all job postings to include a salary rate or range. You can’t ask candidates about their past compensation but you can ask what their salary expectations are. There are no reprisals against employees who discuss or disclose compensation and there is a new requirement for larger employers to track and report compensation gaps based on gender and other diversity characteristics.  This must be posted in the work places.  This will be a requirement of much larger employers as soon as May 15th, 2020.
  • April 20, 2018 Ontario Government addressed funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans such as new solvency requirements, new rules governing contribution holidays and additional disclosure requirements for member statements.
  • Bill C-45 is an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and other Acts. October 17th, 2018 will legalize recreational cannabis. Employees still will not be able to possess or come to work impaired.  It is important to revamp your drug and alcohol policy.  Add component anyone is diagnosed with an addiction should disclose this to the company. Must adhere to the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Smoke Free Ontario 2017.  Non-medical cannabis should be treated the same way as use of alcohol/other drugs pursuant to your drug /alcohol policy.  If provided a note for medical cannabis treatment, deal with it the same as any other drug with similar side effects and ensure the health and safety concerns are being met.  Accommodation may need to be provided.
  • Employment Drug Testing are still not recommended but may be allowed for safety sensitive positions but the threshold is unclear. Ontario Human Rights Commission has created a policy to guide employers.

If you have any questions regarding the changing legal landscape and how these changes can affect your business, please contact our knowledgeable HR Consulting Team at dana.gidge@rlb.ca.  Dana and the RLB Consulting Team will be pleased to help you. Our HR consulting niche offers on-call consulting services such as HR Interim Support, HR Outsourcing, DISC – Personality Profiling, Policy Development, Legal Compliance, HR Health Check, Recruitment, and so much more.


To learn more about Carol and the services offered at Miller Thomson please visit her page here.