Canadian Employment Law Today

October 25, 2017

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 7

Canadian Employment Law Today | 3 Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 Cases and Trends Workplace offences of the olfactory senses Poor employee hygiene can present workplace risks, but a tricky subject to broach BY ASHLEY BROWN IDEALLY, workplace misconduct is dealt with swiftly and decisively through an es- tablished disciplinary process. However, when the source of the offence is not a work- er's conduct but personal hygiene, what re- course does an employer have? Matters involving personal hygiene can present health, safety, and other workplace risks, and take a toll on employee relations and workplace morale. A worker who exhib- its poor personal hygiene in the context of a food processing facility not only risks public health but an employer's brand and reputa- tion. A healthcare worker who fails to main- tain personal hygiene can cause disastrous — even fatal — consequences for patients under his care. Personal hygeine can also trigger an employer's accommodation obli- gations under human rights legislation — for example, where a worker suffers from a dis- ability that causes unpleasant body odour. Given the discomfort broaching the sub- ject and concerns about human rights liti- gation, it's no wonder many employers are fraught with anxiety about how to navigate body odour issues in the workplace. Two helpful decisions e following decisions show us that per- sonal hygiene can and should be treated like any other issue related to health, safety or the breach of a workplace policy. In Southwell v. CKF, CKF, a manufacturer of food packaging products, received com- plaints from employees that a co-worker, Southwell, disregarded the company's sani- tation protocols by spitting on the plant floor, blowing on product that was to be packaged, having offensive body odour, and failing to excuse himself before passing gas. CKF advised Southwell his conduct was unacceptable and gave him the opportunity to disclose any medical condition that may have contributed to his workplace behav- iour. Southwell reported nothing. roughout the next couple of months Southwell's personal hygiene improved. However, he continued to exhibit subpar performance and an inability to follow in- POOR HYGIENE on page 7 » SPECIALIZATIONS STARTING IN JANUARY 2017: · A dministrative Law · Business Law · Civil Litigation & Dispute Resolution · C onstitutional Law · Criminal Law & Procedure · Energy & Infrastructure Law · Family Law · General LLM WINTER 2017 APPLICATION DEADLINE: OCTOBER 26 IT'S NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW THE LAW. MASTER IT. OSGOODE'S PART-TIME PROFESSIONAL MASTER OF LAWS (LLM) IN LABOUR RELATIONS AND EMPLOYMENT LAW Osgoode's LLM in Labour Relations and Employment Law is the leading program of its kind in the world. Learn from Canada's top law professors and international faculty, which have included Alan Bogg (Oxford), Ruth Dukes (Glasgow), and Bruce Kaufman (Georgia State). Get out from behind your desk and into a rich learning environment that puts you in a room with highly engaged and inspiring peers, who are just as passionate about what they do as you are. Learn more at START IN SEPTEMBER 2018 MAJOR SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE: · Collective Bargaining Law · The Common Law of Employment · Freedom of Association · Human and Equality Rights · Labour Law and Economics · Work Regulation · International Labour Law Canada's leading Professional LLM for lawyers, executives and experienced professionals Shane McNaught, LLB 2018 LLM Candidate Legal Counsel Ontario Principals' Council Outside Toronto? Attend class via videoconference and complete your degree from your home or office.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Canadian Employment Law Today - October 25, 2017