Learn how legalized marijuana will
affect your workplace
cannabis act into force in October

In a few short weeks, the use of recreational marijuana will be legal nationwide, presenting employers with a new set of indirect compliance challenges that will require them to review and update several policies and procedures, including drug and alcohol use, code of conduct, fitness for work, scent and fragrance-free environment, accommodation of disabilities and progressive discipline.

In our latest special report, Recreational marijuana and the workplace, we provide employers with a quick reference on how they can effectively update policies and implement best practices that help meet the challenges brought on by the legalization of marijuana requirements and continue to protect the health and safety of workers.

Before the legalization of marijuana comes into effect on October 17, 2018, all employers will need to:

  • Assess the risk of employee marijuana use to the workplace;
  • Revisit workplace policies that address drug and alcohol use to continue to have the right to prohibit impairment on the job and ensure it deals with impairment from marijuana use;
  • Ensure employees know about and understand your policies and consequences of violating policies; and
  • Provide training to supervisors and managers on how the legalization of marijuana will affect their workplace and HR practices

A new topic in Click here to download the special report.


Employment agencies: payroll and
employment standards requirements
temporary employment help payroll implications

A new section on employment and temporary help agencies has been added to PaySource®. The Placement Agencies and Temporary Help Agencies section explains the payroll implications, licensing requirements and employment standards for all jurisdictions, including new regulation of personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for temporary foreign workers that will come into force in Quebec once regulations are filed and provisions proclaimed.

To learn more, log in to PaySource and look in the Employment Standards section. Not a subscriber? Try PaySource for free to read this commentary and more.


No organization is too small to face
cybersecurity threats
Reduce the risk of cybers attacks with a cybersecurity policy

A 2017 report by Scalar Decisions found that 87 percent of the Canadian companies surveyed—small and large alike—experienced a cyber attack last year. This further demonstrates that the number of cyber attacks continue to be on the rise. Regardless of size or industry, organizations need to be prepared in the event of an attack.

How can organizations protect themselves?

First, implement a comprehensive cybersecurity policy to proactively identify potential risks; then develop a cybersecurity framework to minimize and manage those risks. In this way, you can save time and aggravation when dealing with a hack.

First Reference’s free Cybersecurity Policy for IT Departments—one of over 130 policies and checklists available in Information Technology PolicyPro®—makes it easy for organizations to take this first step.

Be prepared for cyber attacks before they happen! Download our comprehensive cybersecurity policy here.


New health and safety and workers' compensation discussion for agricultural operations
required workplace postings

While The Human Resources Advisor™ already has an extensive section dealing with health and safety and workers’ compensation, a new discussion titled Agricultural Operations has been added to provide employers with health and safety and workers' compensation information specific to the agricultural industry (or ranching industry, depending on the jurisdiction).

Currently, most health and safety legislation in Canadian provinces and territories sets standards for farm operations to protect farm and ranch workers. In addition, most jurisdictions require mandatory workers’ compensation coverage for farm operations. This is because workers in agriculture experience a high risk of workplace injuries and are among Canada’s highest fatality rates of any Canadian occupation.

Log in to HRA or start a free trial to learn more.


Answering your questions from the 2018 Ontario Employment Law Conference
2018 Ontario Employment Law Conference

At this year’s conference, we received several excellent questions from the audience and ran out of time before we could answer all of them. Although we were unable to discuss these questions in June, Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B. and Ava Moradi, JD have been providing answers to some of these submitted questions in weekly posts on our HR and employment blog, First Reference Talks.

Below are questions that we’ve addressed on our blog – just click on the question below to view the answer:

1. Suspicion of marijuana use at work"How do you approach an employee if you suspect use of marijuana and the employee has not advised HR that it was for medicinal purposes?"

2. Terminations without cause"If I am terminating without cause, can I tell the employee that his or her performance is not up to standards/has not improved on deficiencies previously brought to his or her attention, or does this imply cause and open up doors to litigation?"

3. Duty to investigate harassment"An employee voluntarily resigned and then advised of harassing behaviours and that this was the reason for resignation. Should our company still conduct an investigation?"

4. Personal Emergency Leave (PEL)"If you have a contract employee and our company has 10 paid PEL days, would those days be pro-rated for a contract employee who is on a six-month contract?"

5. Unused vacation time"How much can employees carry over to next year? What happens if the employee leaves? Can we cap any vacation to carry over to the next year?"

6. Shift cancelation"An employer cancels a scheduled shift within 48 hours before start, but the employee doesn’t receive notice of cancellation. Is the employer responsible for paying the three hours?"

7. Critical Illness leave"If the parent is not in Canada, can an employee still use critical illness leave?"

8. Leave eligibility"Is there a limit for age of child who is assaulted to access domestic violence leave?"



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