Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Winter 2016

THE EDITORS’ CORNER

Michelle Black and Sean Kelly

One day, the line between mental and physical disabilities may not be so pronounced, but, for now, distinctions are still drawn between Employee A with, for example, diabetes and Employee B with, for example, depression. Both employees are dealing with serious health conditions but Employee B’s condition can present additional challenges because it can be difficult to “see” and difficult to understand.

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MENTAL HEALTH AND THE DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE

Stephen Penney and Sean Kelly

Employers can face many challenges when dealing with employees who are struggling with a mental health issue. Illness and disability affecting employees can cause staffing/absenteeism challenges and morale problems with other employees. Barriers to managing the return to work process and re-integration into a productive workforce often arise.

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THE DUTY TO INQUIRE: THE PROBLEM WITH TURNING A BLIND EYE

Murray Murphy, QC, CHRP

You have heard this scenario before: An employee is constantly showing up late (or not showing up at all), being insubordinate or argumentative, or worse – completely unmanageable, so the employer then dismisses the employee. The employee then files a grievance or a human rights complaint stating that he or she suffers from a disability and the dismissal was discriminatory.

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THE SCOPE OF ACCOMMODATION OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES – WHAT ABOUT STRESS?

Josie Marks

There is growing understanding of the need to accommodate mental health issues in the workplace, not only due to human rights obligations but also to optimize employee productivity. However, the boundaries of employers’ obligations from a human rights perspective are not always clear. This article focuses on stress-related accommodation requests: is an employer obliged to accommodate an employee having difficulty coping with stress?

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DISCIPLINE AND MENTAL HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE

Vanessa Paton

Disciplining employees who are suffering from mental illness can pose particular difficulty for employers. Although there is a duty to accommodate mental illness in the workplace in the same way as any other disability, misconduct related to a mental health issue is not immune from discipline. Employers are well advised to be aware of the relevant considerations, risks and obligations with respect to managing a disabled employee’s performance.

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Client Update: Atlantic Canada pension and benefits countdown to 2019

December 28, 2018

Level Chan and Dante Manna As 2018 comes to an end, we countdown some pension and employee benefits developments in the last year that we anticipate may lead to developments in 2019. Discrimination in benefits…

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Client Update: Canada’s Proposed Cannabis Edibles, Extracts and Topicals Regulations Revealed

December 21, 2018

Kevin Landry The first look at regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals has arrived. The Federal Government has opened a 60-day consultation period respecting the strict regulation of additional cannabis products. Notice of the consultation was accompanied…

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Client Update: Recent Supreme Court of Nova Scotia decision drives home the importance of credibility

December 20, 2018

Erin Best and Kara Harrington “This case is about pain, how it was caused, by what accident and the opinions of dueling experts.”¹ “In this case, like so many, the assessment of the evidence depends…

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Client Update: Land use planning in Prince Edward Island: the year in review

December 20, 2018

Jonathan Coady and Michael Fleischmann Overview Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities, developers and planning professionals throughout Prince…

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Client Update: Nova Scotia Labour Standard Code changes – domestic violence leave & pregnancy / parental eligibility

December 14, 2018

Following the various Stakeholder Consultations (which Stewart McKelvey participated in on behalf of Nova Scotia Employers), the Government has changed the Labour Standards Code Regulations effective January 1, 2019 to: a) provide for up to…

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Client Update: Coming to Canada? You may need biometrics / Mise à Jour : Vous pensez bientôt venir au Canada? Vous pourriez avoir besoin de fournir vos données biométriques

December 6, 2018

Version française à suivre Sara Espinal Henao Canada has expanded its permanent and temporary immigration requirements to include biometrics – the measurement of unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features. The new requirements,…

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Proposed Changes to IP Law: Will they impact your business?

December 3, 2018

Many businesses rely on trade-mark, copyright, and patent law for the protection of their intellectual property (IP). The Federal Government recently proposed changes to IP laws, which may impact your business. Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act,…

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Client Update: Supreme Court of Canada rules against Canada Revenue Agency in GST/HST deemed trust case

November 27, 2018

Julia Parent and David Wedlake (special thanks to Graham Haynes for his assistance) In a rare decision from the bench, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) allowed the appeal of Callidus Capital Corporation in the matter…

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Client Update: 12 tips for the company holiday party

November 23, 2018

Mark Tector and Killian McParland ‘Tis again the season for the company holiday party. And while the party planners are starting to break out the eggnog, there are some lessons learned from seasons past to…

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Client Update: Who is a constructor?

November 16, 2018

Mark Tector and Richard Jordan The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act (the “Act”) provides that “contractors” and “constructors” have similar, but not identical, responsibilities, with a “Constructor” having greater authority and more responsibility for the health and…

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