Legal haze: accommodating employees who use medical marijuana

November 22, 2015 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

One of the hot topics discussed during the recent Canadian federal election was the possible legalization of marijuana. The Liberal Party, which won the election, took a position in favor of legalization as part of its platform.

As the country waits to see whether the new government will put forward legislation to legalize marijuana, Canadian employers continue to navigate the complicated issues that arise in their workplaces when their employees have medical prescriptions permitting their use of marijuana. read more…

BYOD: privacy issues for Canadian employers

November 15, 2015 - by: Lorene Novakowski 0 COMMENTS

by Lorene A. Novakowski

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, programs are increasingly popular in Canada, as they are in the United States. Under a BYOD program, employers require or expect employees to use their own mobile devices for business purposes. The practice raises privacy concerns as well as concerns about ownership of company data and the ability to retain company data when an employee departs.

In August 2015, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s federal government together with those of British Columbia and Alberta jointly issued a paper considering the privacy implications of BYOD programs. The paper also provides useful recommendations for employers. read more…

Incentive plan entitlements on wrongful dismissal

November 08, 2015 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

By Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, the wording of incentive plans can have a significant impact on the payments required on termination without cause. This point was highlighted by three Ontario decisions earlier this year. read more…

Employee fired for expressing political views at work wins reinstatement and damages

November 01, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

With a Canadian federal election recently behind us, it is safe to say that politics has been a hot topic of discussion in some Canadian workplaces. A Quebec employer was recently reminded, at significant cost, that employees are entitled to express their political opinions at work and may not be fired for doing so. read more…

New high-water mark set by human rights tribunal for damages for sexual harassment

October 25, 2015 - by: Nicole Singh 0 COMMENTS

by Nicole Singh

In May 2015, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario issued an unprecedented decision when it awarded two temporary foreign workers more than $200,000 in damages for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect resulting from sexual harassment in employment. read more…

How ‘come back to work’ doesn’t always work: offers of re-employment to former employees

October 18, 2015 - by: David McDonald 0 COMMENTS

by David McDonald

In Canada, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia recently issued a decision narrowing the possibility for employers to use re-employment offers to support an argument that an estranged employee has failed to mitigate damages by refusing to come back to work. read more…

New penalties in Canada’s temporary foreign worker regime

October 11, 2015 - by: Isabelle Dongier 0 COMMENTS

by Isabelle Dongier

Last year, Canada’s federal government introduced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The changes were intended to encourage employers to put more effort into hiring Canadian workers by making it more difficult and expensive for them to hire temporary foreign workers.

The changes have done just that. Adding to that enhanced regime, the government of Canada has now published regulations introducing a new Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) regime. The AMP regime will come into force on December 1 and apply to noncompliance occurring after that date. read more…

Project manager convicted of criminal negligence

October 04, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith and Shane D. Todd

As another reminder of the importance of health and safety in all workplaces all across Canada, we report on the continuing legal saga involving the December 2009 fatalities at Metron Construction.

On June 26, 2015, Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager overseeing a construction project for Metron, was found guilty of five counts of criminal negligence in relation to a quadruple fatality on the project. As we approach the end of the Metron saga, we look back on the accident, the charges that flowed from it, and the impact on health and safety advice for employers. read more…

Employers required to give employees time off to vote

September 27, 2015 - by: Stefan Kimpton 0 COMMENTS

By Stefan Kimpton

It’s almost election day in Canada. On October 19, Canadians will head to the polls to elect the new federal government. Employers with employees in Canada should be aware of their obligations on election day. read more…

Sharing the pain: Do economic conditions count?

September 20, 2015 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

by Clayton Jones

Does a poor economy mean a shorter reasonable notice period? Canadian employers often ask this question—particularly in cyclical industries.

When assessing reasonable notice, courts will consider the employee’s position and responsibilities, length of service, age, and the availability of similar employment. Not only has it been unusual for courts to consider negative economic conditions as a factor justifying a reduced notice period, this has typically been used to lengthen the notice period in favor of the employee.

However, there are two cases from the past year—one from Ontario and one from Alberta—where the court was prepared to give the employer some credit for the economic situation it found itself in. read more…

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