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Doctor's Note requirements

Question: I have been off work on disability for 8 months.  Once a month my doctor fills out a form for the disability insurer.  I contacted the employer last week to discuss the fact that my doctor will probably allow me to return to work in the new year and they seemed to be taken off guard.  They said they would have to talk to the disability insurer to find out what was going on and told me I would have to get a doctor’s report.  When I talked about some accommodations my doctor was recommending they wouldn’t discuss it at all.  What is going on?

Vacation allocation

Question: Every Spring I take my vacation time to go visit my daughter in England.  Happily this year she will have a new baby a few weeks before my usual trip. I usually go for 3 weeks but my employer will only approve one this year.  For staffing reasons, they say that they just can’t afford to be shorthanded at that time.  I am going to see my first grandchild this spring.  What are my options?

Seniority, it's hard to take it with you.

Wrongful Dismissal lawsuits are rarely about whether the employer had a good reason to terminate an employee.  Unless an employer is claiming that the employee did something so awful they deserve no notice or payment, the reasons for the termination are not the issue.  


Properly investigate or don’t terminate

Bruce had lived at a men’s shelter of last resort for a number of years. He was 75 years old and had been a boxer in his youth. Whether it was as a result of his past career or dementia, Bruce was easily confused and agitated.  


Dealing with a workplace bully

Question: I feel like I’m getting bullied by a co-worker.  One example is that recently a new cell phone for her, that it was my job to order, did not arrive as scheduled.  She came to my desk, stood about one foot away looking down at me and in an angry raised voice asked where her new cell phone was as if I reported to her.  This is only one of many examples I could give. How should I deal with this? 


Fixed term contracts can leave employers 6 feet under

Fixed term contracts can be an expensive and dangerous thing for employers. 


Addiction is a disability like any other

Alcohol and drug addiction are considered by the Ontario Human Rights Code to be a disability on the same footing as any physical impairment.  The Code requires employers to accommodate disabilities to the point of undue hardship.  

Wording of Bonus Plans

Employers drafting bonus plans have to be very careful about the wording they use.  Judges will usually take those words at face value.  


Clean hands crucial if you are persuing your old employer’s clients

Clean hands crucial if you are persuing your old employer’s clients

If there’s any chance that you will get caught up being sued by your former employer claiming you breeched an obligation not to solicit their clients, make sure your hands are squeaky clean. 
If your hands have dirt on them, judges tend to make decisions that can be a bit surprising.

Not everything is bullying or harassment

A few years back, protection from bullying and harassment were added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.  Now, any time an employee alleges bullying and/or harassment, the employer has to conduct an investigation and produce a written report.