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Has the arrival of Uber generated any employment law issues in Canada?

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Local Government

In two posts on June 17, 2015, I noted that the California Labor Commission had ruled that an Uber driver was an employee not a contractor, and thus entitled to be reimbursed for her driving related expenses.

I am not aware of any similar Uber "employee / contractor" cases in Canada. However, Uber's arrival in this country has sparked at least one employment law "debate" that played out in Toronto in April and May of this year.

On April 2, 2015, City of Toronto Councillor Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) announced that he intended to introduce a motion to remove the Uber app from City owned smartphones issued to employees. This is the news release that he issued:

Karygiannis expects to introduce Council Motion to remove Uber application from City-owned smartphones

TORONTO - Jim Karygiannis, Councillor for Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt, expects to introduce a Motion at the May City Council Meeting, with respect to removing the Uber application from City-owned smartphone devices.  read more »

Temporary foreign workers win sexual harassment case; one awarded $150,000 for "injury to dignity" damages

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Fishing

In O.P.T. v. Presteve Foods Ltd., 2015 HRTO 675 - a decision issued on May 25, 2015 - the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") awarded one of the complainants $150,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect due to the sexual solicitations and harassment that she experienced in the workplace. The other complainant was awarded $50,000 for this head of damage.

The $150,000 award is, according to the union that represented the complainants, the new high-watermark for this type of damages in Ontario and, according to some commentators, three times higher than the previous high-water mark.  read more »

Ontario holding public consultations to strengthen Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act

Topics: - News Releases
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

On May 14, 2015, the Ontario Ministry of Labour issued the followinig news release concerning public consultations on the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act, 2000:

Province Protecting Workers In The Modern Workplace

Ontario is moving forward with public consultations on issues and trends that affect workers and employers across the province in the modern workplace.

Public consultations about how the Labour Relations Act,1995 and Employment Standards Act, 2000 could be amended to keep pace with the changing needs of workers and employers will begin on June 16th in Toronto and will continue
throughout the summer in communities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Guelph, Windsor and London.   read more »

Ontario one step closer to rolling out Ontario Retirement Pension Plan by January 1, 2017

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Finance issued the following news release on April 29, 2015 concerning the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, which is currently scheduled to be rolled out by January 1, 2017:

Bill Strengthening Retirement Security for Millions of Workers Passess in Ontario Legislature

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan Act, 2015 has been approved by the Ontario Legislature. The Act forms the foundation of the ORPP, which the government will put in place by January 1, 2017.

Ontario has held extensive consultations across the province with business, labour, associations, young workers, pension experts, individuals and families to ensure that the government creates the best plan for the people of Ontario.

Once established, the ORPP will be the first of its kind in Canada, building on key features of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The ORPP will:  read more »

Ontario Securities Commission proposes new whistleblower program for public comment

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Securities issued this news release today (February 3, 2015):

OSC Proposes New Whistleblower Program for Public Comment

TORONTO - The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) today released OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401, which proposes a new whistleblower program that would encourage the reporting of serious misconduct of Ontario securities law to the OSC. Under the program, a whistleblower could be awarded a financial incentive of up to $1.5 million upon the final resolution of an administrative enforcement matter.  read more »