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Key topics in employment law

Jul 12, 2017

Employers must deal with a myriad of employment and labour law issues, most of which are pressing and require swift and effective action. That is why maintaining compliance with the constantly evolving statutory labour and employment obligations is of paramount importance. Effectively navigating the associated regulatory landscape can help you avoid incurring extra expenses and unnecessary headaches.

In addition, there are industry-specific issues that are threatening to expose businesses to even more potential liabilities. For example, franchisors need to be cognizant of how the proposed joint employer status could expose them to employees’ claims under employment and labour laws, collective agreements, wrongful dismissal suits, wage and overtime class actions, and human rights claims.

Another key employment issue is random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. While there is no legislative regime in Canada that specifically governs this testing — it is based on case law and arbitral jurisprudence — counsel must understand the balance between an employer’s legitimate interest and its obligation to provide a safe work environment, and an employee’s privacy and human rights.

As part of Osler’s Brief the Board series, these resources developed by Jennifer Dolman, a partner in Osler’s Litigation Practice Group, and Brian Thiessen, a partner in Osler’s Employment & Labour Practice Group, examine key employment and labour law issues and offer best practices and useful suggestions for briefing a board on a number of matters, including

  • joint employer status as it applies to franchise law
  • how to avoid joint employer status
  • unionization and franchise law
  • the implications of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017
  • random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace

Every employer will be confronted with various employment and labour law issues that could expose them to liabilities. These resources will help counsel provide employment law advice and develop the necessary framework for successfully managing these situations:


The essentials

  • Franchisors remain at risk of being found to be joint employers which can have a significant impact on their costs and liabilities
  • Proposed changes to Labour Relations Act may increase number of union drives and applications for certification
  • It is critical for employers to have clear drug and alcohol policies and protocols in place

Access the PDF of TakeawaysReview the slide deck




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