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CHHMA COPA HR Info Session


 On September 19, 2018, the CHHMA-COPA HR Group was updated on some recent legislation impacting employees and the workplace.Topics covered included:
  • Managing Psychological & Episodic Disabilities in the Workplace
  • Investigating Allegations of Workplace Harassment and/or Discrimination and/or Violence
  • Managing the Impact of the Legalization of Marijuana and the Workplace
The meeting was held at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation (CHSI) in Mississauga and updating the group was HR consultant Viki Scott, President & Principal Consultant of Scott & Associates Inc., a firm specializing in Labour Management Relations, Health & Safety, Compliance, Absence & Attendance Management, Business Continuity Planning, Conflict Management and General Human Resources Consulting Services.

Attendees learned about the different types of psychological disabilities recognized by WSIB, the difficulties in accommodating mental illness/psychological in the workplace, the support needed to help employees and importantly what the legal responsibilities are for companies.  As the rates of mental illness increase worldwide, the impact of mental illness in the workplace is also growing. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2020, depression will be the second most common cause of disability in the world, second to heart disease.

Ms. Scott
also reviewed the amendments to Bill 127 - Changes to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act which came into force on January 1, 2018, that specifies that workers are now entitled to benefits for “chronic or traumatic mental stress arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.”

provided a refresher on Bill 132 which expanded the definition of workplace harassment under the OHSA to specifically include workplace sexual harassment as a workplace safety issue.  It also created an obligation on employers to take a more proactive approach to addressing workplace harassment through clearly defined complaint mechanisms, written procedures outlining the investigation and reporting process as well as various training obligations. Viki also addressed Bill 177 which includes amendments that came into force last December to the Occupational Health & Safety Act increasing maximum fines for offences under the OH & S including workplace harassment. So it is very important for companies to take incidents of workplace harassment, discrimination and/or violence seriously and to undertake appropriate investigations as not doing so could lead to costly fines and possibly jail time for employers.

In regards
to the impact of the legalization of “recreational” marijuana in the workplace, the takeaway was that it should not be allowed at the workplace nor should employees be able to come to work impaired (so treat it similar to alcohol).  It is important that companies have a workplace alcohol & drug policy in place though and have employees sign off on the policy.

As always,
we thank Viki for taking the time to come speak to our members and her expertise advice that she provides.

Some topics
that the group is looking to discuss at future meetings include:
  • Hiring & Firing Best Practices
  • Performance Management
  • Pay Equity Legislation
  • Pay Transparency Law
  • Unions
  • Payroll
The CHHMA is always looking for new members to join our HR Group so if you are interested, please contact CHHMA President Sam Moncada at or 416-282-0022 ext.125.

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