Queen's University IRC

Labour/Employment Law

Work and Family Issues: Beyond ‘Swapping the Mopping and Sharing the Caring’

During the past two decades, there has been a significant transformation in the Canadian economy, labour force and in the social and familial context in which labour force participation decisions are made. An increase in the labour force participation of women, particularly married women and those with children, together with a rising number of both single-parent as well as dual-earner families in the labour force are focusing greater attention on work and family issues.

Implementing Pay Equity in Ontario

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate issues in the implementation of pay equity, based on the experience of Ontario. The Ontario Act is considered as having the broadest scope of coverage of pay equity legislation, not only in Canada but in North America. This paper compares the Pay Equity Act of Ontario to other pieces of Canadian equal pay for work of equal value legislation, exploring the similarities and dissimilarities, highlighting the unique features and discussing the implications of various provisions.

Smoking Restrictions in the Workplace

This paper looks at the implementation of smoking restrictions in Canadian workplaces in an attempt to discover the impetus for these new policies and laws, as well as some of their social and legal implications. Workplace smoking restrictions have come about because of new medical evidence claiming a real hazard to non-smokers from environmental tobacco smoke. Although this evidence is inconclusive with respect to healthy non-smokers, there is still enough suggestion of a long-term risk to warrant preventive action.

AIDS and the Employment Relationship

The increased incidence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is beginning to have a significant impact in the workplace. Some unique employment issues are being raised because of two dimensions of the problem: first, the disease is fatal and to date there is no known cure; and second, as a result of the lack of knowledge about AIDS, a great deal of fear of transmission of the disease persists among other members of the workforce.

Employment Related Drug Testing: The Legal Implications for Employers

Employment related drug testing has become a contentious issue in Canada. While some employers have implemented some form of drug testing and many more are still considering it, the extent of its legality has yet to be determined by the human rights commissions, arbitrators and the courts. This essay examines the legal implications of employment related drug testing in Canada by analyzing relevant human rights legislation, arbitral jurisprudence, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In carrying out this analysis some reference is made to the legal developments in the United States.

The Rise of Industrial Unionism in Canada – A History of the CIO

This paper was written from the perspective of Don Taylor, who was able to work in every part of Canada with union people – both leaders and members – many of whom had been involved in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from its beginnings in this country. He felt that there were too few written memoirs of the experiences of those whose deeds didn't conform to accepted heroic traditions or dramatic conventions, but who enjoyed the great priviledge of working for a good cause in pursuit of noble principles.

Employee Benefits and The Part-time Worker: Legal and Economic Issues

This paper attempts to examine part-time employment from both a legal and economic perspective, looking at the extent of part-time employment, the compensation arrangements for part-time employees with particular emphasis on benefits other than wages, and the apparent inequities in these arrangements. The treatment of part-time workers under existing employment standards and collective bargaining legislation is reviewed and the potential impact of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is examined.

Part-time, Casual and Other Atypical Workers: A Legal View

Most academic labour lawyers in Canada are used to focussing their attention on the "traditional" employment relationship in which workers are more or less permanently employed by a single employer and regularly work forty or so hours per week. This paper focusses attention on the "Baker Street irregulars" of the labour market, to use a Sherlockian analogy.

The Seniority Principle: Is It Discriminatory?

This paper pursues the questionable effects of seniority systems by examining; the remedial powers at the disposal of each legal forum available to an employee to pursue a discrimination claim, the relevant Canadian jurisprudence on discrimination, and the American experience with discrimination claims based on seniority. This paper concludes with a proposal detailing an outline of an affirmative action plan tailored to fit the Canadian situation as it is exposed by the previous sections of the paper.

The Evolution of Sexual Harassment Case Law in Canada

In this paper, Deborah Ann Campbell takes a look at the issue of sexual harassment in the Canadian workplace. Once considered to be an accepted part of a woman's job — something she just had to put up with — the author reflects on the changing legal and social attitudes towards sexual harassment. This report traces the evolution of sexual harassment case law in Canada, to illustrate how the fundamental issues were resolved. The emphasis is on Ontario human rights cases and Canadian arbitration cases.

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