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…

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…

Employer permitted to post employee photos in workplace

August 16, 2015 - by: Alexis Charpentier 0 COMMENTS

by Alexis Charpentier

The right to privacy is constantly evolving. And that has implications in the workplace. Just how far employees’ privacy rights extend is constantly at issue. Recently an arbitrator in Quebec had to decide whether employees’ privacy rights extended so far that they could object to their employer’s decision to post their photos, together with their performance metrics, at their workstations. read more…

Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

Drug testing does not always violate fundamental rights

by Marie-Gabrielle Bélanger

In Canada, the criteria for allowing random drug or alcohol testing in the workplace are very limited because these tests are regarded by our courts as an invasion of an employee’s privacy. But what about requiring targeted testing of an employee suffering from an addiction? read more…

Health and safety laws broadened to cover unpaid positions

January 18, 2015 - by: Carla Oliver 0 COMMENTS

by Carla Oliver

Ontario recently broadened the definition of “worker” under its Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The broadened definition is consistent with a trend across Canada. read more…

Ontario releases new workers’ compensation policy to aid in claims involving pre-existing conditions

November 09, 2014 - by: Cathy Chandler 0 COMMENTS

by Cathy Chandler

Until recently, Ontario was the only jurisdiction in Canada without a specific policy dealing with the effect of pre-existing conditions on claims for workers’ compensation. That has now changed. On November 1, 2014, a new policy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Pre-Existing Conditions, came into force. The goal of the policy is to provide decision makers with guidance on how to draw the work-related/non-work-related line when it comes to adjudicating compensation claims involving pre-existing conditions. read more…

Rare costs award granted in human rights complaint

November 02, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

Although courts routinely order one party to pay the other party a portion of its legal fees, administrative tribunals in Canada very rarely have the power or inclination to do so. That includes human rights tribunals across the country, which very rarely order one party to pay the other’s legal costs even where they have the power to do so.

In Kim Ma v. Dr. Iain G. M. Cleator, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal took the highly unusual step of ordering the complainant to pay a portion of the respondent employer’s legal fees. Why? In this case, the tribunal found the complainant’s conduct to be so egregious that it was the exception to the rule. read more…

BC addresses whether privacy rights include right to remain anonymous

July 13, 2014 - by: Chuck Harrison 0 COMMENTS

By Chuck Harrison

In a recent Canadian case, the British Columbia Labour Relations Board addressed whether privacy rights entitle an employee disciplined for serious misconduct to remain anonymous in an arbitration award. read more…

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