Categories
Founder's Blog

Don’t Leave Home!

“If you’re cold I’ll keep you warm
If you’re low just hold on
‘Cause I will be your safety
Oh don’t leave home”
~ Don’t Leave Home, Dido

During this time of a global pandemic with COVID-19, I encourage and implore you to… PLEASE STAY HOME.

Just today I was reading about a backyard party in Brampton with 20 people and no physical distancing. There is no better way to distance physically than to STAY AT HOME!

To the 75% of Canadians who are not self-isolating for 14 days after returning from vacation abroad I say: ARE YOU DUMBER THAN A FIFTH GRADER? (“75% of returning travellers bypassing mandatory quarantine: Study,” 2020) You are putting your friends, family, and community at risk by not doing the one thing we’re all asking you to do. STAY HOME.

In Brampton, the fine for not physical distancing is between $20K – $100K. In Ontario the OPP advise people could face a fine of $750 for not following public health orders. (“Coronavirus: Provinces say fines, arrests face people who don’t distance, self-isolate,” 2020) Nationally, the penalty is up to a $750,000 and six months in jail.

So let’s be respectful of our neighbours, especially those with compromised immune systems, and stay home when we absolutely do not have to go out, and further, self-isolate if we’ve just returned from a trip outside of Canada. And while you’re staying at home, be sure to support our local merchants! Especially for those that are paying for their employees to stay home should they need to self-isolate.

References

Yuen, J (2020, March 30) 75% of returning travellers bypassing mandatory quarantine: Study, Toronto Sun Retrieved from https://torontosun.com/news/national/75-of-travellers-returing-to-canada-have-visited-a-grocery-story-bypassing-mandatory-quarantine

Valiante, G (2020, March 21) Coronavirus: Provinces say fines, arrests face people who don’t distance, self-isolate, Global News Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/6713438/canada-coronavirus-self-isolation-fines-arrests

This article was written by J2DW CEO Peter V. Tretter and edited by volunteer editor Brandon Amyot.

Categories
Letters

Letter to the President & CEO of Walmart Canada

12 June 2019

Lee Tappenden, President & CEO

Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

1940 Argentia Road

Mississauga, ON L5N 1P9

Dear Mr. Tappenden,

Recently, it came to our attention Walmart Canada made policy changes greatly affecting your employees, disabled customers, and First Nations customers.

I was visiting your South Barrie store the other day when I discovered it no longer had express checkouts. Instead, I had the option to use the job-stealing self-checkouts or wait in line at one of the beer-toting checkouts. Either had me behind other customers with carts full of stuff vs my three items I was purchasing.

The problem, Mr. Tappenden, is that I have a hidden disability. Waiting in line can actually be unsafe for me, especially as of late due to tiring quickly, there is no where I can wait while the three to ten people in front of me take more than ten minutes each to pay for their purchases.

I further worry for your First Nations and People of Colour customers who may not feel safe in your stores. Who may only come in for two or three things and then quickly leave, now, your new policy forces them to stay longer with no visible security present. Your staff is inadequately trained for this. A First Nations youth shoved into the shelf of an over-crowded aisle might be seen as an “accident” instead of the assault that was intended by the perpetrator.

Your South Barrie store was difficult to navigate as your normally wide primary aisles were crowded in the middle with stock or other items making it difficult to get around.

As a result of this situation, we would like:

  1. The restoration of (at a minimum 3) express checkouts at all Walmart stores in Canada.
  2. Your aisles clear so as to minimize safety issues for your customers.
  3. All staff trained in First Aid, CPR, and AED.
  4. All Walmart stores in Canada equipped with an AED.
    1. All staff informed of its location.
  5. Assistance for customers with disabilities, visible or hidden.

Regards,

 

Peter V. Tretter

President & CEO

Journey to Diversity Workplaces

Categories
Library

A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

A Canadian federal employee’s guide to PIPEDA

First, let’s quickly overview PIPEA: What is it?

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, also known as PIPEDA, is a law passed by the Parliament of Canada respecting privacy for the private sector and applies to personal information collected during the course of commercial activities. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What employers have to work within PIPEDA??

Any employer who falls under federal jurisdiction in the Constitution of Canada.

Those areas being:

  • banks (but not provincial credit unions).
  • marine shipping, ferry and port services.
  • air transportation, including airports, aerodromes and airlines.
  • railway and road transportation that involves crossing provincial or international borders.
  • canals, pipelines, tunnels and bridges (crossing provincial borders).
  • telephone, telegraph, and cable systems.
  • radio and television broadcasting.
  • grain elevators, feed and seed mills.
  • uranium mining and processing.
  • businesses dealing with the protection of fisheries as a natural resource.
  • many First Nation activities.
  • most federal Crown corporations.
  • private businesses necessary to the operation of a federal act. (Government of Canada, 2018)

Specific employers include but are not limited to:

Government of Canada and most federal Crown corporations such as Canada Post, Banks (Bank of Montreal, RBC, Scotiabank, Tangerine), Airlines (Air Canada, Porter, Westjet), and Phone and cable companies (Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus), for examples.

What are federal employers’ obligations under PIPEDA?

  • obtain consent when they collect, use, or disclose their personal information;
  • supply an individual with a product or a service even if they refuse consent for the collection, use or disclosure of your personal information unless that information is essential to the transaction;
  • collect information by fair and lawful means; and
  • have personal information policies that are clear, understandable and readily available. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

What are federal employees’ rights under PIPEDA?

PIPEDA gives employees the right to:

  • know why an organization collects, uses or discloses their personal information;
  • expect an organization to collect, use or disclose their personal information reasonably and appropriately, and not use the information for any purpose other than that to which they have consented;
  • know who in the organization is responsible for protecting their personal information;
  • expect an organization to protect their personal information by taking appropriate security measures;
  • expect the personal information an organization holds about them to be accurate, complete and up-to-date;
  • obtain access to their personal information and ask for corrections if necessary; and
  • complain about how an organization handles their personal information if they feel their privacy rights have not been respected. (Wikipedia contributors, 2018)

As a federal employee, how can I access my private human resources file?

Ask! Or send a written letter to your organization’s Chief Privacy Officer or whichever officer is in charge of the company’s privacy policy. Details on who that person is will be available from your employer.

“Ordinarily, it should cost you little or nothing to gain access to your personal information. The law requires an organization to respond to your request at minimal or no cost to you.” (Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2016)

References

Government of Canada. (2018, November 9). Federally Regulated Businesses and Industries. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/employment-equity/regulated-industries.html.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. (2016, September 12). Accessing your personal information. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/privacy-topics/access-to-personal-information/accessing-your-personal-information/.

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, November 13). Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 29 March 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Personal_Information_Protection_and_Electronic_Documents_Act&oldid=868668286.

This article was written by J2DW CEO Peter V. Tretter

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Founder's Blog

The Heart of Election Day

The Heart of Election Day

Working for Elections Ontario

In Ontario we recently participated in the exercise of democracy by casting ballots for members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. From there, the leader of the party with the most members becomes Premier of Ontario. Thus, democracy functions once more.

It was rather late in the election period, about two weeks before election day, when I decided I wanted a one-day job, which was on election day, working for Elections Ontario.

On June 7th, 2018 Elections Ontario was Ontario’s largest employer.

Elections Ontario is an independent agency of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. However, the agency does have to follow all applicable laws with regards to employment and, in particular, in accessibility.

When I first called and spoke with the recruiter, she was excited. It was probably because she had one less person to find. Admittedly, Elections Ontario did a fantastic job advertising its open jobs for election day.

So, this recruiter and I talked for some time. It looked as if I was going to be a Deputy Returning Officer (DRO) in Oro-Medonte. This was driven by the fact that I both have a valid drivers license and a vehicle I can drive to the location.

However, when I revealed to the recruiter (whom I will not name,) that I was unable to help set up the polling location I would be working at the night before, due to medical requirements of a disability, the role of DRO was taken off the table.

No one mentioned to me about Elections Ontario’s “Workplace Accommodation Policy and Procedures” brochure, nor that there was a form (FO273) that I could file to ask for help. Does one expect the applicant to leap through all those hoops?

I do not know the training this recruiter had, but I imagine that it was similar to the training for my downgraded role as Information Assistant. (Jokingly referred to as Greeter.) So she must have read the brochure (FO277). It was mandatory.

Elections Ontario policy is to accommodate applicants and employees with disabilities who need workplace accommodations.

On June 7th, I arrived bright and early at my polling station, ready for the next 13 hours. The actual voting hours are 9 am – 9 pm. However, we had to be there an hour before for any final setup items. We also could not leave the premises at all during those times. Bathrooms were on site.

While I am frustrated that I did not get to carry out the DRO role, originally offered, I had a great day. I got to greet voters, help them with the process, and send them merrily on their way afterwards.
Poll Official - Elections Ontario

Since employment is short-term, individual accommodation plans will not be reviewed after the election is over.

I firmly believe that Elections Ontario has gone to great lengths to accommodate voters exercising their democratic right to vote. However, I do not believe that Elections Ontario has gone far enough to accommodate their very short term, one day employees, who just want to help out to ensure democracy prevails.

I think if I could talk directly to Greg Essensa, Ontario’s Chief Electoral Officer, then I would make the following recommendations:

  • Make the brochure on Workplace Accommodation Policy and Procedures available online. (FO277) (In doing my research for this article I could not find this brochure on the Elections Ontario or the Ontario Government websites.)
  • Make the requisite forms available online. (FO273)
  • Train your Recruitment Team to make mention of the brochure (FO277) one of the first things they talk about, just like the greeters ask for accessibility assistance when they greet voters at the door.
  • Ensure all polling stations have facilities for storing medications needed during the day both in regular temperatures and those requiring refrigeration.
  • Make a plan for DRO’s that cannot set up the night before.
  • Internally review individual accommodation plans post-election to spot opportunities for improvement.
  • In the end, we all want democracy to prevail! So, let us give democracy a hand and accommodate those one-day employees.

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

    Categories
    Founder's Blog

    Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

    A decent variety identifies with various societies, foundations, ages, sexual orientations, identities and different elements. It likewise identifies with how individuals see themselves and how they see others. Cultural variety in the work environment has turned into a key worry to pioneers and chiefs of associations today. Associations are crossing outskirts and mainland in the mission for more markets. Work movements are acquiring individuals from various races, foundations, sexual orientations and identities into the work environment. Enrollment masters are hunting down work ability all around. At this point, what are the ramifications of these to an association? How does these influence administrators? What are the principle things a director has to know in regards to variety in the work environment? We should think about some notable angles.

    To the employee: listed are some of the ways to respect the diversity in the workplace;

    We all have biases. This is a natural result of our life experience. Take a moment to write down what your biases are and ways in which you wouldn’t allow these biases to affect how you conduct yourself in the workplace.

    • Take a genuine interest in someone with a different background than your own. Make sure your conversions are deep rooted in a common ground that does not offend cultural sensibilities.

    • Bring together, diverse groups for invitation. Doing this will increase the pace and creativity involved with innovation. Companies that do not change and innovate will crumble and the diversity can be a company’s most valuable resources in this area.

    • Respect religious holidays. Most company’s respect Christian holidays, however, the workplace tends to have a variety of religions. Thus, all-important holidays should be respected of that particular religion.

    • Create interest in organizing a lunch with someone from a different background and try changing lunch tables to meet new people.

    To the Director: In the worldwide town, having decent variety is a reality and not simply administrative buildup. As a director, you have to comprehend, embrace and value cultural diversity. The director of a company will unquestionably have various groups in any case and the onus is on him/her to adjust their administrative abilities corresponding to this.

    It is prudent for human asset supervisors and enlistment specialists to think about assorted variety while distinguishing and pulling in ability.

    Cultural variety must be implanted into the way of life of the association. Your association’s way of life is produced after some time and contains the convictions, values, practices, states of mind and other basic suppositions shared by individuals. Envision a different work environment with its way of life genuinely skewed and doesn’t consider having a variety of diversity.

    As an administrator, you have to realize that having a decent variety in a working environment is a benefit. Numerous focal points gather from having a decent variety and your association can profit from this because cultural variety upgrades cooperative energy in a work environment. Cultural variety additionally enhances inspiration and motivation and these can bring about expanded efficiency, gainfulness and rate of profitability. It gives a decent stage to learning since it brings new points of view and methodologies, new authority styles, better basic leadership and so forth. The mix of various encounters, foundations and vocation ways can be a gift. This can be utilized to enhance productivity and viability of people and furthermore, groups. Item advancement groups for instance, can be multidisciplinary and multicultural for motivations behind having a decent variety.

    Presently, shouldn’t something be said about the drawback of having a decent cultural diversity? Work environment assorted variety additionally has its impediments and risks. Correspondence issues commonly emerge and these can be trying to your element’s activities. Isn’t this test regular with multinationals? Cultural diversity may likewise breed protection from change. Most times workers may likewise be enraptured along lines of decent variety. Past the substance and into the business world, complexities in business arrangements crosswise over societies and so on can emerge because of cultural variety.

    Associations can take the advantage of cultural diversity to enhance administrations of the association. When you lead business universally for instance, your client base is exceptionally different. The general public you work together in is various. Decent variety in this manner mirrors your client base and the general public overall. Wouldn’t you be able to then utilize your differing group to enhance administrations to the classified client?

    Presently, would you say you are setting adequate accentuation on work environment decent variety? Is your association very much situated to oversee work environment assorted variety? Thinking about all the above certainties, it is crucial that you do the needful. Comprehend cultural variety and make its best utilization, while limiting its negative effect on your company.

    Embrace diversity in your workplace and you will be on the way to a more fulfilling and productive organization. The world is a beautiful mosaic of differences and the workplace should be as well. Respecting your co-workers and employees is paramount to tapping the valuable diversity in your organization.

    Reference

    Charlie Bentson King: Writer and producer of training ABC

    This article was edited by volunteer editor Erin Murphy.

    Categories
    Media releases

    J2DW Launches Titles and Pronouns for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals

    Journey to Diversity Workplaces Launches Titles and Pronouns for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals

    J2DW joins companies such as Royal Mail, the Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, and numerous others making this change.

    For Immediate Release

    BARRIE, ONTARIO, 10 OCTOBER 2017 – Journey to Diversity Workplaces (J2DW) is excited to announce the addition of new titles and pronouns to their online applications and databases for transgender and gender diverse individuals.

    J2DW’s goal is to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We respect differences ethically, morally, and legally. We want a different kind of workplace where diversity is championed and so is the worker. An organization’s success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and to realize the benefits of diversity.

    It is important that we respect and recognize individuals in our society in a way they wish to be addressed. By doing this, we promote out-of-the-box creativity and respect for those who explore their lives fully in a way that is right for them. We’re proud to take a stand on this.” said Peter V. Tretter, President & CEO of Journey to Diversity Workplaces.

    The board of J2DW green-lit the project over the summer and immediately went into beta testing. New titles available include Ind., Mre., Msr., Mx., Myr., Pr., Sai., and Ser. New pronouns available include Ne/Nem, They/Them, Ve/Ver, and Ze/Zir.

    Organizations such as Royal Mail, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Oxford City Council have introduced these titles since the start of 2017, and we believe J2DW is one of the first Canadian companies (for-profit or non-profit) to launch these options.

    Journey to Diversity Workplaces is a Barrie, Ontario based organization formed under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act in December 2013. Find out more about us at www.j2dw.ca

    — 30 —

    Contact:

    Peter V. Tretter, President & CEO

    705-481-7784 ext 2

    pe…@j2dw.ca

    Categories
    Founder's Blog

    I want to tell you about my Mom

    Hello –

    How does one put into words over 30 years of memories, experiences, and emotions?

    Many don’t know that I spent three years at Ryerson’s theatre school. It was a time of adventure and discovery. I still value those experiences to this day.

    My Mom always encouraged me and sister to do whatever we wanted. Music lessons, dance classes, scouting or guiding, and participating in the Greely Players were all par for the course for us, and I am very thankful that my parents were able to do that for us.

    Mom also was an accomplished painter. I have this amazing milk can by my front door decorated like an old-church stained-glass window.

    Because of this, the arts are a subject that I hold quite dear.

    Mom passed away from cancer in June 2014.

    Like any good son, I had been wracking my brain for ways I could do something special to honour and celebrate my Mom. Unfortunately, I lack the $100,000+ to have something like a new wing at the hospital named after her.

    The Doris Tretter Memorial Scholarship for Diversity in the First Arts was born as my way of honouring Mom.

    Except I need your help.

    Tomorrow we are doing a Thunderclap.

    A thunderclap is when many social media users send the same message at the same time on the same day. Unfortunately, coordinating something like this without technology is almost impossible.

    So we are using a website, appropriately named Thunderclap. You can sign up, for free, with your Facebook and/or Twitter and/or Tumblr accounts. It takes no more than a minute.

    We need 100 signed up social media accounts. Right now we have 52.

    Then on Wednesday at noon Thunderclap will release the same message on all the signed up accounts at the same time.

    Hopefully, we become a trending topic.

    The other way you can help is by directly contributing to our crowdfunding campaign. We have contribution levels for all incomes.

    I appreciate you loaning me a few minutes of your time to tell you about my Mom.

    All the best,

    Peter V. Tretter
    President & CEO
    Journey to Diversity Workplaces

    Thunderclap

    Categories
    Founder's Blog

    Founder’s video blog #4 – New year’s resolutions