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Vancouver Employment Law Blog

Workplace violence is not restricted to physical assault

Studies indicate that violence in any workplace is a matter of significant concern across Canada, including British Columbia. Many employers and employees associate  violence with physical assault, but it includes other acts such as threats, abuse and intimidation. Establishing an accurate number of workers affected is not easy because many cases go unreported.

Threatening acts like the destruction of property, shaking fists and throwing objects are also included in workplace violence, as well as insults, swearing or other forms of verbal abuse from both workers and other individuals in the workplace. Some workers may use written threats to intimidate colleagues. Harassment such as bullying, intimidation, humiliation, threatening gestures, causing embarrassment and annoying other workers are often cited in reports about workplace violence.

Employment law protects British Columbia workers against bullying

Bullying is not restricted to schoolyards. Although employees are protected under employment law, the number of British Columbia workers who are victims of workplace bullying is concerning.

Victims typically suffer psychologically, even if they experience no physical harm. Along with feelings of helplessness and vulnerability, they could experience anger, shock, appetite loss, lack of confidence, panic attacks and insomnia. Furthermore, bullying could affect a worker's morale and cause stress, stomach pains, headaches and depression.

Landmark employment law ruling made by Canada's Supreme Court

Employers in British Columbia and other provinces in Canada might be interested in a recent Supreme Court ruling in connection with the rights of dismissed employees to bonuses under employment law. The ruling followed a case that involved an employee who claimed benefits and bonus pay after he was forced to resign.

Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities

British Columbia employers are bound by human rights laws to accommodate workers with disabilities. Employment law also mandates that employers may not base appointments or discharges upon an employee's disability.

However, there are conditions under which an employer's duty to accommodate is limited. If such accommodation causes the employer undue hardship, it might be waived.

When can employees claim payment for travel time?

It is not uncommon for disputes to arise about employees' eligibility for payment for travel time. Employment law regarding travel time can be complicated. Therefore, British Columbia employers are advised to draft a company policy that includes information about travel time in the employment contracts when new staff members are appointed.

Here is what the BC Employment Standards Act says about paid and unpaid travel time:

Workplace discrimination can take many forms

There are many different forms of discrimination that can exist in the workplace. You could experience discrimination based on personal characteristics - such as your age, race or gender. Discrimination can also be identified through unequal opportunities or disciplinary actions.

Incidents involving discrimination may remain unreported because workers are unaware of their protections under the law. The Canada Labour Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act and British Columbia-specific employment laws all offer protections against workplace discrimination. In today's post, we will outline some of the common ways that discrimination can present itself on the job:

Manufacturers in British Columbia must understand these laws

Before starting a manufacturing plant in British Columbia, business owners must familiarize themselves with certain labour laws. In Canada, many matters related to human rights, health, safety and employment fall within the province's jurisdiction.

Here are three important rules to be aware of:

What happens if I fail a workplace drug test?

Drug testing happens before and during many jobs throughout the country. While such tests may seem straightforward, the results aren't always as cut and dried as you might think.

Certain conditions can create false-positive test results - leading to serious problems for you as an employee. Here's what you need to know:

What is necessary to file a human rights complaint at the CHRC?

Employees in British Columbia are protected against discrimination. For those employed by organizations falling within federal labour jurisdiction, the Canadian Human Rights Act prevents discrimination or harassment based on race, age, sex, religion, sexual orientation or other protected grounds. Victims of such behaviour in the workplace could file complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. (Other employees who fall within provincial jurisdiction will have recourse through the BC Human Rights Tribunal.)

Navigating such a complaint could be a daunting prospect, and the complainant must include specific information with the claim. The first requirement is to describe the nature of discrimination and the particular grounds that were violated. The employee must also explain:

At a job interview, discriminatory inquiries can violate human rights

When British Columbia employers conduct job interviews, they must take care to avoid discriminatory inquiries. Broadly speaking, employers may not ask prospective employees questions about any of protected grounds under the Bc Human Rights Code, including:

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