On December 6, 2018, the Ontario government introduced another new bill that will make even further changes to Ontario’s labour and employment laws. This new bill, called Bill 66 or the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018 (“Bill 66”), would make several amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, 1995 in an effort to address certain concerns raised by employers and others. These changes also seek to make Ontario businesses more competitive. Bill 66 comes on the heels of other recent legislative changes made by Ontario’s government including the changes made in Bill 47 or Making Ontario Open for Business Act. Further information about Bill 47 can be found in our recent blog post entitled “Premier Ford set to Reverse Recent Changes to Ontario Employment Laws.”
A common question many employees have is whether they can record conversations in the workplace. This question is usually within the context of a workplace dispute. For instance, the employee may feel belittled or bullied by a co-worker or superior and desire to record conversations that take place in order to “prove” that they have been bullied or belittled. Sometimes the employee will advise that co-worker or superior that they will be recording the said conversation. Other times, the employee will simply record the conversation and not set out to the co-worker or superior that they are doing so.
The holidays are around the corner and employers are understandably becoming more concerned about potential liability that could result from a holiday office party. On one hand, employers would like to show their appreciation to their employees and an office party is a nice gesture to show that appreciation. On the other hand, employers are wary of certain legal implications that may result from a holiday office party. For instance, there may be issues related to harassment and / or damages or injury from alcohol consumption.
The #metoo movement has had a major impact on how employers react to “office romances” in the workplace. Previously, employers may have simply discouraged or even ignored workplace romances, dating, flirting, etc. However, those attitudes by employers are changing as “office romances” may now come with serious liability attached to it for the employer especially if the “office romance” involves employees where one is a subordinate and the other is a superior.