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Small Amendment to Health & Safety Law Has Big Consequences

By December 22, 2017November 5th, 2019Employment Law, Practice Management

The Ontario Government has made a small amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) that impacts all employers in Ontario.

As the government normally does, it passed Bill 177, its budget law (called the Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017), which contained amendments to several laws in Ontario including to OHSA.

On December 14, 2017, the Bill received Royal Assent and came into force as law on the same day.

Under the updated law, the maximum fines for each conviction under OHSA are now up to $1.5 million for corporations and $100,000 for individuals. Individuals may also be subject to up to 12 months of jail time.

In addition, Ministry of Labour prosecutors will now have greater flexibility in the number of alleged violations they include when laying charges. What this means is that an employer or individual may receive a greater number of “counts” of infractions of the law. Each count can carry its own penalty.

As well, the new changes to the law permit the Ministry of Labour more time to bring charges against corporations or individuals. Specifically, the law now has a one year limitation period for bringing charges not from the date the offence occurred, but from the date the Ministry of Labour Inspector becomes aware of an alleged offence.

DMC is here to help you with your questions of legal compliance. Contact us at any time we would be happy to assist.

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