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Archive for ‘Practice of Law: Practice Management’

Alberta Employment and Labour Law Reforms Passed

On June 7, 2017, outside of House sitting, Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act received royal assent. This means effective January 1, 2018, most of the new rules updating employment and labour law in union and non-union Alberta workplaces will come into force. Other provisions will come into effect when the Act receives Royal Assent. However, the youth employment provisions which will only come into effect on proclamation and will probably be at a later date to allow consultations on the regulations defining hazardous and light work. The essential services changes come into force effective May 25, 2017. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Labour Relations Act Reforms Underway

On June 1, 2017, Bill 148, The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 was tabled in legislature. The measures amend the Labour Relations Act and include some of the following:

1. Union certification

  • Establish card-based union certification rather than voting, for the temporary-help agency industry, the building services sector and home-care and community services industry.
  • Make the following changes to the union certification process:
    • Eliminating certain conditions for remedial union certification-allowing unions to more easily get certified when an employer engages in misconduct that contravenes the LRA;
    • Making access to first contract arbitration easier, and also adding an intensive mediation component
. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Upcoming Alberta Employment and Labour Law Changes

After a recent review of Alberta’s employment law, the Alberta government tabled Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act on May 24, 2017 to make a number of significant amendments to the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code. If enacted, the majority of changes will take effect January 1, 2018.

Both the Employment Standards Code and Labour Relations Code have not been significantly updated in almost 30 years and according to the Alberta government, the nature of work and family life have changed a lot since then. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario Employment Standards Act Reforms Underway

This article was updated June 1, 2017

On May 30, 2017, the Ontario government decided to move forward with some of the 173 recommendations from the Changing Workplace Review final report which includes broad ranging amendments to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

At the same time, the government also announced that they will be increasing the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018, which was not included in the report. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Build Good Practice Habits and Avoid Malpractice Claims: The New Lawyer

This article is by Ian Hu, claims prevention and practicePRO counsel at LAWPRO.

You are just beginning to build the habits that can help or hinder your practice in the long term. Consistency in how you deliver service – from the questions you ask at intake to the steps you take when the client leaves the office – is one of the foundations to protect yourself against malpractice claims. Simple procedures like asking the right questions by following an intake form and calendaring and tickling deadlines and court dates as soon as you know them are hallmarks of good practice . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Changing Workplaces Review Final Report: Sweeping Changes to Ontario Employment Law Coming

On May 23, 2017, the Government of Ontario released the Changing Workplaces Review final report by authors C. Michael Mitchell and John C. Murray. It contains 173 recommendations that recommend significant changes to Ontario employment law aiming to create better workplaces with decent working conditions and widespread compliance with the law. The authors consulted with workers, unions and businesses for two years on a wide range of work-related issues. This was the first independent review in Canada to consider specific legislative changes to both employment standards and labour relations in a single manner.

The following is a brief overview of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Redesigning the Law Firm Before Redesigning the Culture

There are a number of ways to make the workplace safer in occupational health and safety theory, using the hierarchy of hazard controls.

The first approach is to introduce engineering controls and administrative changes. These systemic modifications are usually more cost-effective and have a bigger impact, because they will remove the harm in the workplace to begin with. The next approach is the use of personal protective equipment. With the right equipment, workers can minimize the impact of harms to them in the workplace. Finally, occupational health and safety will look to training, which can help foster better awareness . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

May Lawyers Accept Payment in Bitcoin?

A U.S. colleague with a technology practice was recently asked to take payment for her legal services in Bitcoin. She is not sure she has the right to do so.

What about in Canada? Would any law society here slow such payment? Do payments have to be more subject to regulation via known financial institutions? Certainly the rules about trust accounts demand traditional accounting. Why would a general payment with a digital currency be a problem, though? . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Corporate Directors Found Liable for Employees’ Unpaid Wages

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board (Board) notes that the following case is a “cautionary tale” for corporate directors. That is, the corporate directors in this case, unfortunately, “failed to scrutinize rigorously” the information provided to them by management and effectively left the day-to-day workings of the business’ operations solely to the owner, much to their detriment. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Budget 2017 Bill to Implement Employment Insurance and Canada Labour Code Measures

On April 11, 2017, the federal government introduced Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, omnibus legislation that would enact various measures outlined in its 2017 Budget. This article deals with the Bill’s amendments to Employment Insurance benefits under the Employment Insurance Act and similar measures under the Canada Labour Code. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

To Succeed Where Others Fail

Almost 70 percent of organizational change initiatives fail. At that rate, you might wonder why law firms – which are notoriously change resistant – would try at all. But they do. And some succeed by taking a more thoughtful approach right from the start.

Change can evoke pain, loss and uncertainty. All too often, change initiatives are communicated in a way that causes people to feel defensive, rather than inspired.

Perhaps it’s a matter of taxonomy; “transformation” or “evolution” might be better descriptions of the adjustments that many firms need to undertake to improve performance and profit.

Regardless of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management

Why Is Domestic Violence More Often Becoming a Workplace Responsibility?

It is understood that domestic violence has been known to effect employees at work in a number of ways; a recent study shows that the problem is widespread. “Can Work Be Safe, When Home Isn’t,” (PDF) by researchers at Western University and the Canadian Labour Congress, outlines the preliminary results of a Canada-wide survey of more than 8,000 workers on how domestic violence effects workplaces. The results are startling in many ways, but unsurprising in others.

For instance: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation