More rigorous regime for employers of temporary foreign workers

March 02, 2014 - by: Gilda Villaran 0 COMMENTS

By Gilda Villaran

As we have repeatedly reported, there have been many changes to Canada’s immigration program in the past year. So many, in fact, that it has been hard to keep track of all the new legislative and regulatory amendments and new administrative measures.

Yet another important change to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program came into effect on December 31, 2013 — one that can’t be overlooked by employers of temporary foreign workers. This is the amendment of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. read more…

The cost of not providing references

February 16, 2014 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

By Louise Béchamp

Many employers’ policies preclude them from providing reference letters. Other employers have no policies. And yet others have policies but do not consistently apply them.

The Court of Appeal of Québec’s recent decision in Arsenault (Succession de) v. École Sacré-Cœur de Montréal (available in French only) should give Canadian employers pause for thought before they refuse to provide a reference letter. Such a refusal cost the employer $5,000 in this case. read more…

Can you keep a secret? Court upholds termination for breach of confidentiality

January 26, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

By Hannah Roskey

When will an employee’s breach of confidence justify immediate dismissal under Canadian law? A recent decision by the British Columbia Supreme Court demonstrates that clearly drafted employer policies intended to protect confidential information can indeed be strictly enforced. In Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the court upheld the dismissal of a 20-year employee for cause in response to her breach of confidentiality and privacy policies. read more…

Bullying and harassment in the workplace: lessons from the Miami Dolphins

December 01, 2013 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

The professional sports world has been buzzing with the sudden departure of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin from the Miami Dolphins. His midseason exit from the team comes amid allegations that he was the victim of harassment and bullying.

The scandal has given the public a glimpse behind closed locker-room doors, into the testosterone-fueled “workplace culture” of professional football—a culture rife with hazing, teasing, and, in this particular instance, aggressive and targeted harassment of a young player. While Martin’s alleged harassment will be dealt with under U.S. laws, his situation draws attention to issues faced by Canadian employers. read more…

How far-reaching will the Irving Pulp & Paper decision be?

July 07, 2013 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

By Clayton Jones

Last week we told you about the recent decision in Irving Pulp & Paper where the Supreme Court of Canada severely limited an employer’s right to perform random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. The implications of the Irving decision will undoubtedly be far-reaching, including on two prominent cases currently being heard by arbitrators in Alberta and British Columbia that deal with random drug testing–Suncor Energy and Teck (Coal). read more…

Supreme Court rejects random alcohol testing policy in dangerous workplace

June 30, 2013 - by: Northern Exposure 1 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess, Katie Clayton, and Hannah Roskey

Canada’s highest court has ruled that random drug and alcohol testing in the workplace violates privacy rights. In Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd., the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) considered the validity of a random alcohol testing policy in a unionized workplace. In a 6-3 decision, the SCC agreed with the original arbitration board decision to strike down the employer’s mandatory drug and alcohol testing policy. read more…

Progressive discipline prevails—even where harassment proven

June 09, 2013 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

By Keri Bennett

When a long-service costume designer was dismissed following a workplace harassment investigation, a British Colombia arbitrator found the company’s no-hire ban for all future productions to be excessive, since there was a lack of progressive discipline.

Despite finding that the fired employee had engaged in longstanding and widespread harassment of junior employees, the arbitrator in Warner Bros. Television (B.C.) Inc. ruled that even the least remorseful of employees is entitled to an opportunity to change his or her behavior.

read more…

Recalling employees from work-from-home arrangements

April 21, 2013 - by: Eowynne Noble 0 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

The CEOs at top tech companies have received attention over their policies allowing employees to work from home. While some companies insist that working from home motivates people to work responsibly, quickly, and with high quality, others prefer their employees to work in the office.

The reality is that each company is unique, and the decision to continue or cancel alternate work arrangements depends on a number of considerations. A necessary and critical consideration in making this decision is the employer’s legal obligation to continue such arrangements. read more…

Appeal court upholds temporary injunction against drug and alcohol testing

December 23, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess and Katie Clayton

Canadian courts have been reluctant to allow random drug and alcohol testing in most workplaces. The issue was recently back before the Alberta Court of Appeal. Oil Company Suncor appealed an injunction against its new proposed drug and alcohol testing policy. read more…

Layoff as constructive dismissal: a cautionary tale for employers

December 09, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Ralph N. Nero and Keri L. Bennett

When is a layoff not a layoff? When it is a constructive dismissal, according to an Ontario judge. McLean v. The Rawyal Limited Partnership reaffirms the principle that unless incorporated as an express or implied term of the employment contract, a layoff may be treated as constructive dismissal–meaning the employee can sue for pay in lieu of reasonable notice.

read more…

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