With the internet playing an ever larger role in our lives (and our work), it is no surprise that there has been a corresponding increase in online employee misconduct. In this realm, one of the most frustrating situations for employers relates to anonymous postings that offend company policy. These occur in a variety of ways: from nameless comments on online message boards disparaging the workplace to videos uploaded to sites like YouTube as a form of workplace or co-worker harassment.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the Courts have broken new ground in recent months, both in terms of the reach of anti-discrimination laws and the consequences for those who are found in breach. While the vast majority of employers provide respectful and inclusive workplaces, there are exceptions to this rule and sometimes, despite all best efforts, issues still arise.
The Ontario economy has been hit hard over the past several years. As such, many employers have sought ways to reduce workforce-associated costs. One common tactic has been to replace employees with contractors. Four significant and cost-limiting changes result when an independent contractor, rather than an employee, is engaged.