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Founder's Blog

Consent beyond the Hashtag

Warning: This article is for general purposes only. For specific legal advice please consult your attorney.

Wiktionary defines consent as:

“To express willingness, to give permission.”

In the era of Me Too, so many people seem to have forgotten a basic concept about consent… It’s about more than just sex. What is the best part? It’s also for minors.

Beyond sex

Consent remains integral to our lives. We give consent when we eat a burger at McDonald’s or get an IV at the hospital. Sometimes a formal process is involved such as a parent signing a permission slip for their child to go on a field trip.

Wiktionary defines assault as:

“An act that causes someone to apprehend imminent bodily harm.”

A doctor who does surgery on you without your consent is committing assault. As is a nurse who gives you fluids in your IV without consent. Sometimes as in the second case consent is passive. You decide it’s ok and say nothing. Or you’re unconscious and the medical staff have to make that choice for you. The law allows for this.

In Canada, for medical purposes, with a few exceptions, most provinces have not set an age in law at which a minor consents to a medical procedure. The generally accepted age is 16. However, even below that age if a child can be shown to understand what the doctor is saying and the possible consequences of having a medical procedure (or not) their informed consent must, by common law, be obtained.

For an employer, this means they have to tread lightly with all employees, even those below the age of majority. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work in Ontario. They have to consent, no matter what the task is. To do otherwise could risk injury to the employee and a giant fine for the employer. The onus is on the employer to explain the risks to the employee if there are any. Even a paper cut is a risk, albeit a small one.

Every day we encounter situations where we consent or we don’t. We eat that burger or we pick up a hammer and pound in that nail into the board. We balance the risks. However, that does put the onus on the person with the position of power from getting consent. In many cases, that’s the boss.

References

assault. (2019, April 9). Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 17:46, April 19, 2019 from https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=assault&oldid=52322351.

consent. (2019, March 24). Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 16:23, April 19, 2019 from https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=consent&oldid=52097289.

Knight, K. N. (2014, August 5). Consent of Minors to Medical Treatment. Retrieved April 19, 2019, from https://www.siskinds.com/consent-of-minors-to-medical-treatment/.

This article was written by J2DW CEO Peter V. Tretter and edited by volunteer editor Scott Jacobsen.

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Founder's Blog

Why you should keep Doug Ford and workers separate

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government had announced a large scale rollback to Ontario’s Labour Standards Act, which promised to freeze minimum wage at $14 an hour and repealing Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Doug Ford, The Premier of Ontario had stated some of the proposed legislation changes that we would see such as the removal of paid sick days and the exemption for a sick note if you are sick for less than three days a year.

There is some evidence from other provinces in the country such as Alberta that shows the increase in minimum wage would only help boost the economy.

Small-sized business owners had a hard time swallowing some of the Premier’s changes, as many were quite costly to their business that caused them to have to cut staff and raise prices. The Ontario government could have perhaps introduced grants to help bridge the gap for small-sized businesses struggling to adapt to the changes. We are seeing an almost whole-scale rollback of the Labour Standards Act, which makes it extremely difficult for those small-sized businesses to survive.

With the repeal of Bill 148, this could be seen as a politically motivated move as we are seeing Ford favouring rich business owners while the lesser are suffering.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Doctor’s notes are a tax on the poor because neither the Ontario Health Insurance Plan or the employer pay for them.[/perfectpullquote]

Most of labour law changes affect poor workers. Doctor’s notes are paid out of pocket and not reimbursed. Unpaid sick days mean those who are sick and would have previously stayed home will continue going to work and risk passing on their virus to their coworkers and those they come into contact with.

However, employers cannot make large changes in their workplaces to rollback the increases without possible large scale litigation along with potential claims of discrimination and constructive dismissal.

If Premier Doug Ford wanted to make genuine changes to the Labour Standards Act and the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 then he would have started by consulting with minimum wage earners, workers in blue collar positions and small-sized business owners.

For Ontario deserves more.

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Current board

A provocative volunteer leadership opportunity!

Journey to Diversity Workplaces is both an experiment and a project. Haven’t you ever wished you could work somewhere better? Somewhere where they went out of their way to not only appreciate you, but treat you right, and pay you fairly? We want a different kind of workplace where diversity is championed and so is the worker.

At J2DW, our employees are our members. Period.

Respecting differences ethically, morally, and legally.

We are a member of Volunteer Canada, and Charity Village, CIRA, OnGood, and a partner with Get Involved, and VolunteerMatch.

English: Waterfront of Orillia, Ontario, Canada
English: Waterfront of Orillia, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journey to Diversity Workplaces invites residents (ideally!) living in Simcoe County (including the cities of Barrie & Orillia,) to submit an expression of interest to join the organization’s board of directors to guide us into a bold, promising future. As a Board member you are strongly committed to J2DW’s vision, mission, and values. You have a strong personal and professional integrity, and have experience with, or are comfortable with, the governance — as opposed to management — role. In an era of fiscal constraint, combined with extraordinary population growth, governance leadership will be a significant and rewarding challenge.

Through your professional skills and experience, you will:

– Ensure J2DW lives its values, mission and vision
– Guide J2DW to achieve its strategic directions
– Be responsible for making decisions in the best interests of J2DW
– Be accountable for the monitoring and oversight of J2DW’s performance standards and other outcome measures
– Ensure financial accountability, providing feedback and guidance to the CEO
​​- Provide a link with J2DW to ensure effective communication of community perceptions and needs

You must be at least 18 years of age and not have the status of bankrupt. Meeting are held in Barrie on the third Thursday of the month usually via Skype, though we do meet in person at least twice per year.

If you are interested in serving on the J2DW Board, please submit your resume by 15 February 2017 to Peter V. Tretter, President & CEO at http://scr.im/2zq4 For more information on our board, or to apply visit http://j2dw.co/1nsHqRC.

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Founder's Blog

Why you should forget everything you learned about medical appointments!

I was thinking in the shower today about medical appointments. I have previously written on this topic.

Many, or most, hospitals in Toronto now offer diagnostic tests 24/7 by appointment. My own father has had several at Princess Margaret Hospital to follow cancer treatment he had a few years ago. These include CT scans, MRI, x-rays, etc.

Nurses, as you well know, work eight or twelve-hour shifts. So why can’t doctors?

Let’s say we have two oncologists. Why can’t Oncologist A work days Weeks 1 and 3, and nights Weeks 2 and 4. With Oncologist B working days Weeks 2 and 4, and nights weeks 1 and 3. And when I say nights, I mean 8 pm to 3 am to accommodate those who work evenings and nights.

The funny thig is, I’m certain you won’t have a problem finding people who want this!

So why aren’t we doing it already? So many professionals work shift work. Emergency Department doctors work shift work. So why can’t the doctors who run our oncology clinics, or renal clinics work shift work?

I think we need to have a conversation on how our healthcare providers work with our professors/school, employers, landlords, etc. Everyone probably tells you that “your health comes first.” That’s total BS. Without money to pay the rent, and purchase groceries, the treatment means nothing.

It’s time we put patients first. It’s time for us to stand up and ask for better services.

Case in point – Here in Barrie we didn’t have in-centre dialysis. That meant if you were admitted to the hospital, you had to be transported to another hospital for dialysis. Almost 2 years ago I started writing letters to the CEO of the local hospital, and this past April I cut the ribbon for the new dialysis unit.

So let’s have the conversation and improve patient health by offering clinical appointments 24/7.

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Founder's Blog

Can your manager be a gift horse?

Can you manager be a gift horse? Setting expectations.

In our lives, growing up, in school, entering the working world, and moving up the ladder, along the way we get ideas as to what our ‘ideal’ manager would be. The person we report to. Everyone has a different experience, and I’m sure there are more than a few entry level folks afraid of their manager.

Why afraid? We see examples of manager’s on tv. But what if you’re that one unlucky person, who has just had the worst manager in every role they’ve been in? Never allowed even a brief escape so they can breathe. Those are your people who end up on short and long term disability.

We’d like to avoid that.

Instead, I believe manager’s have a duty and obligation to be a gift horse. You’ve heard the saying “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Being in customer service, I know all about setting expectations. A mother may expect that her child will grow up and become Prime Minister of Canada. A father may expect his child to simply grow old due to a developmental disability. And yet another parent may expect their child to pass away due to being born with HIV.

For a manager, the challenges, and juggling, are immense. But that manager has to set expectations with their employees, and vice versa. It’s a relationship that both employee, and manager must, at the very least, endure. But why should both of those people simply endure it?

I have long believed that you have to check your issues at the door. Your spouse might have left you. It’s not your employee’s fault. They don’t deserve to take the brunt of your anger. Instead they deserve your compassion. And yes, this might be a one way street, because you are the manager. You were chosen to lead for a reason.

I don’t expect a manger to be giving out favours and gifts, I expect a manager to give out fairness and compassion. Treat your employees fair, have compassion at all times, and evaluate them fairly, always erring on the side of the benefit of the doubt for them. It’s been proven that employees with low work stress levels are happy, productive employees.

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