workplace

Howard Levitt: Why the independent contractor status of doctors leave them vulnerable in the workplace

Article content continued

At trial, the judge acknowledged that both physicians would be required to “consider new career paths” as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario required that they complete extensive retraining to practice in emergency of family medicine, as they had spent their careers specializing in urgent care and found themselves with nowhere to practice. Dr. Luczkiw developed cancer shortly after the urgent care centre closed.

Despite the, frankly, tragic result and unfavourable outcome for the physicians in this case, the Court took an important step in finding that the physicians were dependent contractors due to their economic dependence on the hospital and their high level of exclusivity. As a result, where privileges are cancelled, revoked, refused or substantially altered, absent this limited statutory exemption, physicians would be entitled to damages for reasonable notice, as dependent contractors, in the same way as employees — and potentially for dramatically more if their loss of hospital privileges prevented them from getting back on their financial feet for years.

The case exposes the cracks in our system by which independent contractor status leaves our physicians vulnerable and unprotected. For a society that has become acutely aware in recent months of the importance of physicians to the health and functioning of our society, we must ensure more fair and equitable treatment of our healthcare heroes. The court in this case, as in others, has increasingly filled in the gaps and provided deserved protection for a group which was historically, to the surprise of many, vulnerable.

Got a question about employment law during COVID-19? Write to me at levitt@levittllp.com.

Howard Levitt is senior partner of Levitt LLP, employment and labour lawyers. He practises employment law in eight provinces. He is the author of six books including the Law of

Continue Reading

Why the independent contractor status of doctors leave them vulnerable in the workplace



Most physicians are not employees in the traditional sense, but rather are independent contractors with hospital 'privileges'.


© Provided by Financial Post
Most physicians are not employees in the traditional sense, but rather are independent contractors with hospital ‘privileges’.

The pandemic has shone a light on many aspects of society, but nowhere more brightly than on our healthcare system.

Loading...

Load Error

Exposing both its frailties and resilience, COVID-19 has made it clear that the strength of our hospitals lies with our frontline staff: physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. However, the independent contractor status of physicians can leave them vulnerable to unfair practices in the workplace. Recently, however, our courts recognized one of the challenges physicians practicing in hospitals face: the dependent nature of many physicians’ practices and the lack of financial protection if their privileges are terminated. Shouldn’t a physician be entitled to compensation if a hospital effectively terminates their job?

Hospitals, and in particular academic hospitals, are complex work environments. Most physicians are not employees in the traditional sense, but rather are independent contractors with hospital ‘privileges’. A hospital grants its physicians the ‘privilege’ of using its resources to provide care to patients. Privileges are very valuable to the physicians who hold them as they have significant financial, professional and reputational benefits.

Increasingly, due to financial considerations, hospitals are seeking to limit the number of physicians on staff. But the loss of privileges has dramatic negative financial consequences for physicians who earn the bulk of their income in a hospital environment, particularly physicians requiring a hospital setting to perform aspects of their jobs, such as complex surgeries.

As privileges are now much harder to come by, some physicians who lose their hospital privileges can find themselves without the ability to earn a living. Recently, the courts acknowledged that some physicians have a relationship of dependence on hospital resources and therefore should be entitled to the

Continue Reading

Trump ban on ‘divisive’ and ‘anti-American’ training for federal contractors has workplace diversity experts worried

Diversity and inclusion training providers are concerned recent strides in corporate America to address racial and gender disparities will take a back seat after President Donald Trump ordered restrictions on racial sensitivity training for federal contractors.



a man standing in front of a computer: Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory test X-ray equipment for the scientific investigation of an 1,800 year-old Egyptian mummy at the Advanced Photon Source on Nov. 27, 2017.

Many Chicago-area companies expanded their workplace diversity training programs earlier this year following the civil unrest resulting from George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May.

The topics of white privilege, systemic racism and unconscious bias have become focal points in those programs, consultants say. Now, they’re the target of an order from Trump cutting off funding to contractors who teach “divisive” and “anti-American” concepts.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order that bars federal contractors from promoting race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in their diversity training programs. Companies could risk losing contracts if they don’t comply.

The Chicago area is home to some of the biggest federal contractors, including aerospace manufacturer Boeing and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories, which recently inked a deal with the federal government to provide 150 million rapid COVID-19 antigen tests. Neither responded to requests for comment.



a large building: Argonne National Lab's Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.


© Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Argonne National Lab’s Advance Photon Source building on March 15, 2019.

Under the order, contractors are prohibited from teaching concepts that “promote divisiveness in the workplace and distract from the pursuit of excellence and collaborative achievements in public administration.”

Contractors can’t teach that the U.S. is fundamentally racist or sexist, claim members of a certain race are oppressors or put blame on a certain race or sex for past actions committed by other members of the

Continue Reading

3 Reasons That Your Workplace Needs A Renovation

If you’re concerned concerning the setting, and you need to be, then you may be considering a green dwelling renovation. From the set up of recent showers enclosures, tub panels or bathe cubicles, the whole lot it’s essential to know in your lavatory renovation mission. Small dumpsters can be found that may be wheeled about the property and medium and large dumpsters are available for projects that contain building and renovation materials.

Whether or not you’ll do the renovation undertaking yourself or hire a contractor, having enough knowledge is a significant component in ensuring that the home enchancment project might be completed to your satisfaction. It’ll cover up all the issues and marks which might be on the walls and provides a room a fresh begin.

Paint the home as in case you had been going to be dwelling in it. If you’re feeling really adventurous you may even embrace a function wall. When waterproofing the ground be sure that the waterproofing comes 100mm up the partitions. If the worth of the loan is to be based on the worth of the house after the renovations are completed, you may need to supply proof of the property appreciating in worth.

At the put together and submit ultimate project bid assembly the key subcontractors provide their last bids based on the ultimate drawings, the ultimate prices on allowances and product picks are determined and the drawings, prices and scope of work is reviewed with the consumer.

Many occasions you will see whirly birds on roofs, or vent ridge capping, some houses have the venting in the sides of the gable partitions. In case your property is a climate board then just a few coats of paint is a superb concept or if it is a Brick home then rendering your property …

Continue Reading