Canadian HR Reporter

April 4, 2016

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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PM40065782 RO9496 April 4, 2016 INSIDE ONLINE SLEUTHING A rundown of several social media investigations that gleaned results for employers, including theft, benefits fraud and drug use Questioning creed Will updated policy in Ontario lead to new demands? page 2 $25,000 payout Despite violent act, worker reinstated page 5 Sexist dress codes Ontario government needs to show true leadership page 23 page 16 FLYING LOW After several employees came forward with information about workplace assault and harassment, WestJet has hired Ernst & Young to investigate. A former flight attendant has filed a lawsuit against the Calgary-based airline, saying the company failed to adequately investigate after she alleged a pilot sexually assaulted her. Credit: Philip Dobson Safety rules 'voluminous, complex': Court Rejects contempt of court application by WorkSafeBC BY SARAH DOBSON A DECISION by the Supreme Court of British Columbia has raised eyebrows after it rejected a contempt of court application by B.C.'s workers' compensation board against two asbestos re- moval contractors and their firm — despite hundreds of violations of safety laws and regulations over the last few years — saying the rules are "voluminous and com- plex" and difficult to understand. "I have to tell you, the labour movement and the employer community, everybody out here is going, 'What the hell? is is ludicrous,'" said Lee Loftus, busi- ness manager of the BC Insulators Union. "What's a legitimate employer to do today? How's he supposed to actually function if there are other people that aren't following the rules, there's no set of standards now. Is that what this means?" e ruling is hard for members of the Canadian Conference of Asbestos Workers (CCAW) to understand when asbestos kills so many people every year, said Vince Engel, international vice- president for Western Canada at the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Al- lied Workers, citing the statistic of 5,000 workplace-related deaths THIS > pg. 12 Do we need a menstrual leave? Asian countries already onboard BY LIZ FOSTER SICK LEAVE is available for em- ployees suffering from any num- ber of ailments, but is there a need for a designated leave around menstruation? e concept garnered attention recently with news the province of Anhui in China had introduced a regulation in March that allows fe- male employees to take up to two days per month of menstrual leave. e regulation also bans employ- ers from discriminating against employees based on gender. However, the idea is not en- tirely new. Leave for female em- ployees during menstruation has been enshrined into local law in several countries: Japan enacted menstrual leave just after the Second World War in its Labor Standards Law in 1947, at a time when women were entering the workforce in record numbers. Taiwan introduced a similar leave in 2013 that guarantees fe- male workers three days of leave per year, while South Korea has provided paid menstrual leave since 2001, according to media reports. Proceed with caution If an employer wishes to add men- strual leave to its own workplace for employees, it is more than welcome to do so, said Janet De- line, media spokesperson for the SENSITIVITY > pg. 14 Some hope on horizon for Atlantic provinces Economies may see better growth, job prospects due to construction, shipbuilding contracts BY LIZ BERNIER THERE hasn't been an overabun- dance of good news stories when it comes to the Atlantic provinces' economic outlooks as of late, but this year may be different. Growth prospects are still mod- est, but there may be some "rays of sunshine" for the maritimes, ac- cording to the Conference Board of Canada's Provincial Outlook: Winter 2016. Nova Scotia is leading the region with forecasted growth of 2.1 per cent this year compared to the national average of 1.7 per cent, said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director of provincial forecast at the Confer- ence Board of Canada in Ottawa. "It's mostly Nova Scotia that's doing better relative to the other provinces in the Atlantic region. In 2015, there was not strong eco- nomic growth in Nova Scotia but that was mostly due to the decline in natural gas production... usu- ally, natural gas production, if it increases quite rapidly, it can be a big boost to the economy but it doesn't really generate a lot of em- ployment," she said. "So we looked at the econo- my… excluding the natural gas industry, it's actually doing quite well. ere is strong economic activity in the construction sec- tor, in the manufacturing sector, and there's some good prospects for this year and next year in those sectors again." ere is certainly cautious opti- mism in the province, said Robert Batherson, chair of the board of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. "Last year was a good year in Nova Scotia in terms of outper- forming the national average by way of GDP growth," he said. Atlantic Canada is traditionally a slow growth area economically, said Glenn Davis, vice-president of policy at the Atlantic Chamber of NEW > pg. 13

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