Union blog’s sexist comments about manager constitutionally protected, not discriminatory, says court

September 25, 2016 - by: Nicole Singh 0 COMMENTS

by Nicole Singh

Canadian tribunals have consistently ruled that communications by employees on social media can be viewed as an extension of the workplace. Improper communication on such platforms can therefore be considered a form of workplace discrimination under Canadian human rights laws. Discipline or termination can sometimes be appropriate.

However, in the decision Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, a union official’s sexist and offensive blog posts about his manager were found to not constitute discrimination under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Instead, the comments in the blog posts were protected by his constitutional free speech and associational rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Can one unionized worker sue another?

September 18, 2016 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Stéphane Fillion and Romeo Aguilar Perez

It is well established in Canada that any legal action whose essential character arises from a collective agreement falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of an arbitrator, not the courts. Clearly, that includes a dispute between a unionized employee and his or her employer.

But what if a dispute involves not only a unionized employee and an employer but also other employees? In other words, can a unionized employee personally sue a colleague for damages that occurred while at work in the courts? According to a recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision in Barber c. J.T., apparently not. read more…

Mandatory employee medical examinations—employer gets it right

September 11, 2016 - by: Chuck Harrison 0 COMMENTS

by Chuck Harrison

A recent labor arbitration decision in Canada provides a guide for employers to “get it right” when balancing occupational safety and health obligations against employee privacy rights. read more…

Hassle-free border crossings: What to do before U.S. national makes application at Canadian port of entry

September 04, 2016 - by: Gilda Villaran 0 COMMENTS

by Gilda Villaran

In 2015, a number of changes were announced to the procedures at Canadian ports of entry. Unfortunately, there continues to be a lack of awareness about these changes on the part of many U.S. companies that occasionally assign employees to work in Canada. As a result, some companies have been caught off guard when their employees are refused entry at the Canadian border. We are writing this article to clarify the obligations of U.S. companies that send employees to perform work in Canada. read more…

Can tribunal rule on harassment complaint if alleged harasser works for different employer?

August 28, 2016 - by: Lorene Novakowski 0 COMMENTS

by Lorene Novakowski

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal had no jurisdiction to hear a complaint where the alleged harasser was employed by a different employer than the alleged victim. The alleged harasser was not in a position of control over the complainant even though they worked at the same site. So the complaint was not regarding employment, as it must be. So ruled the BC Court of Appeal recently. read more…

Turning the tables: An arbitrator focuses on an employer’s use of social media

August 21, 2016 - by: Megan Rolland 0 COMMENTS

by Megan Rolland

In Canada, a recent Ontario arbitration decision serves as a cautionary tale for employers who use social media to interact with customers and clients. read more…

Are you prepared for a search warrant?

August 14, 2016 - by: Deanah Shelly 0 COMMENTS

by Deanah Shelly

You’ve watched True Detective and Law & Order. You’ve seen search warrants in action. The police need them to gather evidence involving murder, illegal drugs, and firearms. But beware! Search warrants can also be served on your workplace. read more…

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Nonunionized federal employees in Canada insulated from without-cause dismissals

August 07, 2016 - by: Christopher Pigott 0 COMMENTS

by Christopher Pigott

A sharply divided Supreme Court of Canada recently overruled the Federal Court of Appeal and held that, subject to narrow exceptions, federal employers are not entitled to terminate nonunionized employees without cause (Wilson v. AECL). This prohibition applies even if the employer is willing to provide generous notice and severance pay. read more…

Can employer use subjective criteria to evaluate workers during probationary period?

July 24, 2016 - by: Paul Cote-Lepine 0 COMMENTS

by Paul Côté-Lépine

There is sometimes uncertainty surrounding the proper scope of evaluation for a probationary employee. Is an employer limited to relying on neutral, objective criteria, or can the employer also consider subjective criteria? According to a Quebec arbitrator in Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (SCFP, section locale 301) c. Montréal (Ville de), an employer is entitled to take into account subjective criteria. read more…

Early termination of fixed-term contract proves costly

July 17, 2016 - by: Jacqueline Gant 0 COMMENTS

by Jacqueline Gant

The highest court in Ontario recently ordered an employer to pay out a whopping three years of compensation to a 23-month employee terminated without cause. The employee was entitled to his full salary and benefits for the remainder of the five-year fixed-term employment contract. The contract did not clearly say otherwise. In Howard v. Benson Group Inc., this meant the employer had to pay over $200,000 in damages. read more…

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