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Employment Law
This workbook will help you organize the information from the textbook into high-quality study notes. It will also
help you focus on the most important details. You will not be handing in this workbook – it’s for your own study.

This workbook is designed to go with different law textbooks. For this reason, the information in each unit isn’t
necessarily in the same order as it is presented in the book.

You don’t need to print the document and write by hand. You can type right into it. Be sure to give yourself
enough information to study from. The point is not to get it done fast, but to create a useful study tool for the

Read the complete textbook chapters that have been assigned for reading. You want to understand the issues
and become knowledgeable.

Discussion and Help
Use the Discussion Board to post questions about the workbook.

Unit 1: What is Law?

statute law stare decisis
common law contract law
bill tort law
act precedent

Think About It
Why do we have or need employment laws? (If you aren’t sure, post a question to the Discussion Board.)

What are the key differences between statute law, common law, and the regulation?

Statute Law Common Law Regulation


How do these
laws/rules get

How do these
laws/rules get


Explain three ways that the courts interpret statutes.

Mischief rule

Internal aids

External aids

Federal Statutes

List and explain the four most important employment-related statutes under federal law (excluding the

Federal Statute What It Covers

Describe the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

What is it?

To what areas do the
Charter’s rights apply?

To what areas do the
Charter’s rights not apply?
(What are the limits to its

What is the three-part test
for determining when a 2.
person’s rights under the
Charter have been 3.

What are some important
sections for human

Provincial Statutes

List and explain the six most important employment-related statutes under provincial law.

Provincial Statute What It Covers

Use this triangle to show the hierarchy of common law, constitutional law, and statutes. Place the one that
takes the highest priority at the top.

Definition/description Examples How does tort law affect human resources? . Definition/description Examples How does contract law affect human resources? Tort Law Define and explain tort law. Contract Law Define and explain contract law.COMMON LAW KEY TERMS appellant plaintiff respondent defendant case citation civil law damages case law just cause Think About It List some examples of common law from the previous module that have affected your employment.

PERSONAL REFLECTION Have you (or someone you know) had any experience dealing with the court system? What was that experience like? Post your answer on the General Discussion Board. .

and self- employed workers? Dependent Independent Self-Employed Employees Contractors Contractors Workers Definition Relationship to the principal Advantages of the relationship Disadvantages of the relationship . Compare What are the key differences between dependent contractors. Are/were you an employee or a contractor? How do you know? If you’re unsure. independent contractors. Unit 2: Employer-Employee Relationships KEY TERMS employee self-employed worker independent contractor agent dependent contractor principal Think About It Consider your current or most recent job. employees. describe your job situation on the Discussion Board and ask what other students think.

Common law tests of the relationship Employer duties Employee duties Potential problems and legal issues Types of Employees Describe the key features of these types of employees and their relationship to the principal (employer). Permanent full-time employees *Permanent part-time employees *Temporary employees *Casual employees *Agency employees (“temps”) *Note key provisions of Bill 148 described in Module/Unit 5 – Equal pay for equal work and employment status (contractors/employees) .

Agencies Describe the relationship between a temporary agency worker and an employer. Definition of an agent (agency) Relationship of the worker to the employer Advantages of the relationship Disadvantages of the relationship *Duties of employer *Duties of the agency Employee duties **Note key provisions of Bill 148 described in Module/Unit 5 – Equal pay for equal work and employment status (contractors/employees) .

Unit 3: Employment Contracts KEY TERMS consideration contra proferentem implied terms restrictive covenants litigation intellectual property unconscionable golden parachute obsolescence inducement Think About It Have you had jobs where you didn’t receive a written contract? What were the jobs? Why do you think you didn’t receive a written contract? Was there actually a contract? Return and change your answer if you change your mind after studying this module. Written Employment Contracts What are the advantages of written employment contracts? Advantages for the worker Advantages for the employer What is the role of consideration in a contract? .

Legal Requirements for an Employment Contract Explain the legal requirements for an employment contract. Explain what an HR professional should do to avoid these kinds of problems. Definition Example Job description Remuneration Term . Include an example of what can go wrong if this requirement is not included. Legal Requirements Example of a Problem Best Practices Consideration Equality of bargaining power Obsolescence Minimum statutory standards Ambiguous language Key Parts of an Employment Contract Describe each element and give an example.

Termination Probationary period Relocation Benefits Restrictive covenants Ownership of intellectual property Corporate policies Entire agreement clause Inducement Independent legal advice Severability Golden parachute .

1. post a question to the Discussion Board. 7. 4. 5. . 2. Unit 4: Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) KEY TERMS bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) misrepresentation essential job duties nepotism policies duty to accommodate family status duty of care discrimination standard of care remedial legislation position of trust Think About It Why do we need a provincial human rights code if we have a national charter of rights and freedoms? (If you aren’t sure. 2. 5 areas covered by OHRC 3. 7 important features of 4. 6. OHRC for human resources 5. 3. 1. 14 prohibited grounds of discrimination in 2.) Discrimination What does the term discrimination mean according to the ORHC? Definition 1. employment 3.

12. (When are employers 3. 6. 10. post a question to the Discussion Board. 13. 9. allowed to discriminate? Be 4. 8.) . 5. Think About It How does the OHRC affect a human resource professional’s relationship with unionized employees? (If you aren’t sure. sure to include BFOQs. 4. 14. 11. 7.) 5. Prohibited discrimination because of association Prohibited discrimination through reprisal 1. Limitations and exceptions 2.

RECRUITING AND HIRING How does the OHRC affect a human resource professional’s actions related to recruiting and hiring? Actions Potential Problems Strategies for Avoiding Problems Advertising a job Job application forms Interviewing a job candidate Selecting a candidate Conditional offers of employment Medical exams and drug testing Inducement Anticipatory breach of contract Reference and credential checks .

2. WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION Explain these types of workplace discrimination. Which one do you find the most surprising? Why? Post your answer to the Discussion Board. or experienced some form of OHRC discrimination in a job application process? THINK ABOUT IT Read through the cases presented so far in your reading. 3. Systemic discrimination . Definition Strategies for avoiding and potential problems problems Constructive discrimination (adverse impact discrimination) Three-point test: 1. Credit checks Police record checks THINK ABOUT IT Have you ever been asked a prohibited question in an interview.

Employer obligations Employee obligations Undue hardship defence . 3 types of duty to 2. Poisoned workplace Duty to Accommodate Explain an employer’s duty to accommodate under OHRC. accommodate 3. Strategies for avoiding Definition problems 1.

Describe special issues in accommodating employee rights under OHRC. Strategies for avoiding Duty to accommodate Employee duties problems Employees with disabilities Employees with substance abuse issues Employees with religious practices Pregnant and breastfeeding employees .

Employees with families HARASSMENT Explain how OHRC defines harassment. Definition Strategies for avoiding problems and potential problems Definition Types of workplace harassment Types of sexual harassment Steps in Investigating Harassment What are the steps in investigating a harassment complaint from an employee? Step Main points 1 2 3 .

harrassment. and recruitment. including situations related to discrimination. accommodation. . 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Penalties for Non-Compliance with OHRC List the penalties for non-compliance with OHRC.

Describe what a HR professional can do to prevent problems. Unit 5: Employment Standards Act KEY TERMS agreement to vary personal emergency leave (PEL) minimum wage public holiday pay overtime family medical leave vacation greater right or benefit shift scheduling (Bill 148) equal pay for equal work provisions (Bill 148) Think About It Do you receive public holidays and holiday pay in your current or most recent job? Why or why not? Ontario Employment Standards Requirements Summarize the key employment standards outlined in the ESA. ESA Requirements Exceptions and Exemptions Application (who is covered by ESA) Keeping records Posting ESA information Wages and deductions Agreement to vary .

ESA Requirements Exceptions and Exemptions Minimum wage Work hours and meal breaks Shift scheduling (Bill 148) Overtime and overtime pay Vacation and vacation pay Public holidays and pay PEL Family medical leave Lie detector tests Termination notice .Minimum Employment Terms and Conditions The ESA sets out the minimum standards that employers must provide for different types of jobs.

Enforcement of the ESA How is the ESA enforced? Who/what forces employers to comply? If you are unsure. What penalties can these bodies give for non-compliance? Human rights tribunals Employment standards officer Courts Ontario Labour Relations Board Penalties Limitations on complaints . look through the cases in this chapter to see who/what decided the issue.

Description Examples Purpose Who is covered and where does it apply Four rights (list only) Penalties . Unit 6: Occupational Health and Safety Act/ Workplace Safety and Insurance Act KEY TERMS WHMIS bargaining unit due diligence defence labour market re-entry plan (LMRP) rebuttable presumption joint health and safety committee (JHSC) material change Think About It Have you or someone you’ve known ever been hurt on the job or become sick as a result of a job? Do you believe that (or know if) any laws were broken? Occupational Health and Safety Act Summarize the key features of the OHSA.

Workers’ Rights under OHSA Describe the four workers’ rights you listed in the table above. Duties and Responsibilities Exceptions and Exemptions Employer Worker Supervisor Owner . Description Examples To participate in the health and safety process To refuse unsafe work To stop work To know Duties under the OHSA Describe the duties and responsibilities of these four main parties.

Description Examples Inspections .Joint Responsibility Describe how the OHSA is based on joint responsibility. Description Internal responsibility system Joint health and safety committees Health and safety representatives Accident Reporting Describe the process for reporting accidents. OHSA Requirements Reporting an accident Reporting injuries Investigating an accident Enforcement Describe how health and safety regulations are enforced. including problems and liabilities that occur if you fail to follow the process.

2. 5. Describe the key elements of criminal liability for health and safety. Description Examples Purpose Who is covered and where does it apply 1. 9 key features 3. Description Examples Duties described in the Criminal Code Maximum and minimum penalties Workplace Safety and Insurance Act Summarize the key elements of the WSIA. 4. Enforcement of inspections Due diligence defence Offences and penalties Criminal Liability of Organizations Health and safety violations by organizations are described in the Criminal Code. .

6. 7. When does it apply? What are the employer duties? . Description How Workers Qualify Examples Wilful misconduct Arising out of an in the course of his/her employment Disability claims Occupational disease Benefits workers can receive Right of Reinstatement Describe the right of reinstatement under WSIA. 9. WSIA Benefits Describe how workers qualify for benefits related to workplace illness and injury. 8.

Job suitability Labour market re- entry plan Best Practices List standard HR procedures for reducing risks associated with WSIA. .

Unit 7: Employment Equity and Pay Equity KEY TERMS equal pay for equal work gender-neutral job evaluation system pay equity employment equity female or male job class Think About It In your current or most recent job. Equity in the Pay Equity Act Describe equal pay for work of equal value under the PEA. Pay Equity Act 3. Pay equity Applicability 1. . are most of the workers in your job class male or female (or about the same)? Is there a job class at your workplace that is predominantly male or female? Why do you think that is? Equity in the Employment Standards Act Describe equal pay for equal work under the ESA. 4. 7 features of the 2.

6. 2. Enforcement Equity in the Employment Equity Act Describe employment equity. 5. Requirements for employers Applicability (LEEP employers) Responsibilities of LEEP employers Federal contractors program Responsibility to federal contractors . 4. 4 designated 2. 1. 7. 5. 1. 6 steps to achieve 3. groups 3. pay equity (for employers) 4. 6.

MODULE 8: Privacy Legislation KEY TERMS personal information solicitor–client privilege fair information principles privacy commissioner Think About It In general. Key Features in Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) Purpose Application Definition of personal information Consent Organizational responsibilities regarding private information Right to access to personal information Complaint procedures . do you approve of secret worker surveillance in the workplace? Explain your reasons.

Principle Description 1. 9. 3. 10. 8. 7. Purpose . 2. 4. 5. Employee Monitoring and Surveillance Describe requirements regarding surveillance of employees in the public sector.Ten Principles of PIPEDA List and describe the 10 principles of PIPEDA that apply to public sector employers. 6.

Examples of electronic surveillance 1. 2. Describe the growing privacy case law related to the private sector. except in certain circumstances. Privacy Rights in the Private Sector Private sector employers are not required to follow PIPEDA’s principles. Tests of reasonability 3. Rights and Issues Examples and Cases Unionized workplaces Reasonableness standard used by arbitrators Non-unionized workplaces Email and internet use . 4.

Unit 9: Termination of Employment KEY TERMS wrongful dismissal summary dismissal recall rights contextual approach bumping rights procedural fairness without prejudice duty to mitigate strike constructive dismissal lockout aggravated damages frustration of contract punitive damages onus of proof Wallace damages near cause proportionality Think About It How many different ways can an employment contract end? Consider voluntary. involuntary. Resignations Describe these features of a legal resignation. LEGAL RESIGNATIONS Formal Voluntary Inferred Exit interviews NON-LEGAL RESIGNATIONS . and other types of job exits.

Dismissal upon resignation Wrongful resignation Terminations Describe the features of a termination of an employment contract. Definition Severance of an employee . Description Exceptions and Exemptions Required notice for termination (ESA) Required notice for termination (common law) Pay in lieu of notice Severance pay requirements Temporary layoff requirements Mass termination requirements Severance Pay Describe severance pay under the ESA.

Describe what “just cause” means. Description of “just cause” Onus of proof Proportionality Contextual approach Procedural fairness Letter of dismissal Condonation Employee dishonesty Employee insolence and insubordination Incompatibility . a worker can be dismissed without advance notice or severance pay if there is just cause. Exemptions from severance pay Rate of severance pay per period worked Dismissal With Cause Under common law.

Constructive Dismissal Constructive dismissal is a type of dismissal that doesn’t involve explicitly firing or laying off the employee and can be considered wrongful dismissal. Off-duty conduct Disobedience Absenteeism and lateness Harassment Intoxication and substance abuse Incompetence Dismissal Without Cause (Wrongful Dismissal) Frustration of a Contract Describe how frustration of a contract can be legal grounds for dismissal without cause. Description Strategies for Avoiding Problems Changes to compensation package Changes in duties Relocation . Describe types of constructive dismissal.

Changes to scheduling or hours Layoffs Untenable work environment Duty (of employee) to mitigate damages Wrongful Dismissal Procedures Describe the processes an employer can use to claim wrongful dismissal. Description Time period and limitations Small Claims Court cases Ontario Superior Court cases Trials Motion for summary judgment Offer to settle Appeals .

Best Practices for Avoiding Wrongful Dismissal Problems Strategy Description 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 .