When Employee Privacy and Social Media Collide

December 07, 2009 - by: Lyne Duhaime 0 COMMENTS

By Lyne Duhaime

An IBM employee from Quebec made headlines last month when her disability benefits were cut off by the insurance company after it saw pictures of her on Facebook. Despite being off work for depression, the employee had posted photos of herself on vacation at the beach and at a Chippendale’s show. When IBM’s disability carrier saw the photos on Facebook, it cut off her disability benefits. In its view, the employee no longer appeared to be disabled within the meaning of the insurance contract.

This case raises interesting privacy issues. Are photos posted on a social media website personal information? Are employers, disability carriers, and other organizations prohibited from using such information? If not prohibited, are there limitations? Put simply, are employers (or, in this case, insurers) able to use the Internet to collect information about their current or future employees?

read more…

Federally Regulated Employees Required to Cross Another Union’s Picket Line

November 30, 2009 - by: Ida Martin 0 COMMENTS

By Ida Martin

Imagine there is a group of federal government employees that are engaging in a lawful strike. Because of the physical location of your workplace, your employees can’t get to work without crossing the picket line. Your workers are unionized and have decided they won’t cross the picket line of the striking federal employees. As such, they are not at work. Can you require them to cross the picket line? What if there is a clause in your collective agreement that states that the company doesn’t expect members of the union to cross a picket line? Can you still insist?

According to a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision, G.W.U., Local 333 v. B.C. Terminal Elevator Operations’ Assn., you can. Even if your collective agreement states that the union isn’t expected to cross a picket line.

read more…

Federally Regulated Employees Required to Cross Another Union’s Picket Line

November 30, 2009 - by: Ida Martin 0 COMMENTS

By Ida Martin

Imagine there is a group of federal government employees that are engaging in a lawful strike. Because of the physical location of your workplace, your employees can’t get to work without crossing the picket line. Your workers are unionized and have decided they won’t cross the picket line of the striking federal employees. As such, they are not at work. Can you require them to cross the picket line? What if there is a clause in your collective agreement that states that the company doesn’t expect members of the union to cross a picket line? Can you still insist?

According to a recent Federal Court of Appeal decision, G.W.U., Local 333 v. B.C. Terminal Elevator Operations’ Assn., you can. Even if your collective agreement states that the union isn’t expected to cross a picket line.

read more…

Canadian Supreme Court’s Principles Lead to Large Damage Award Against Employer

November 23, 2009 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Katie Clayton and Farrah Sunderani

In our October 12, 2009, entry we looked at the extent to which Canadian courts are following the principles established by the Supreme Court of Canada in Honda v. Keays to awarding bad faith and punitive damages. Last month, an Alberta court was once again put to the test.

On October 13, 2009, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench released its reasons in Soost v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc. where it followed the Supreme Court’s principles, although this time against the employer.

read more…

Significant Pension Changes Coming

November 16, 2009 - by: Bill Duvall 0 COMMENTS

By William Duvall

After years of consultations, the Canadian government has announced significant changes to the legal framework for federally regulated pension plans. In addition, proposed changes to the Income Tax Act would affect all defined benefit plans whether regulated federally or provincially.

While we can’t cover all the contemplated changes in this article, we do highlight some of the more significant ones we will likely face in the near future.

read more…

Wal-Mart Layoffs Declared Illegal by Quebec Arbitrator

November 09, 2009 - by: Dominique Launay 0 COMMENTS

As we have reported before (January 6, 2009, December 2, 2008, and August 26, 2008), Wal-Mart has repeatedly been dealt blows by Canadian courts and other decision-makers. Most recently, an arbitrator in Quebec has weighed in – and it’s more bad news for Wal-Mart in Canada.

Wal-Mart’s store in Jonquiere, Quebec, was certified by the UFCW, Local 503 in 2004. In February 2005, after unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a collective agreement, Wal-Mart publicly indicated its intention to close the store for business reasons – it couldn’t afford to meet the union’s demands. It then gave employees notice of termination effective May 2005, the date on which the store would cease operations.

read more…

Employers Need Understanding of Canadian Work Permits

November 02, 2009 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Lesli Sheinberg and Isabelle Dongier

When do foreign workers need to obtain a Canadian work permit? The rules often are misunderstood, and that misunderstanding can lead to complicated situations for employers and foreign workers. Sometimes the workers learn of the work permit requirement only upon arrival in Canada, and that can result in many unnecessary (and sometimes unpleasant) hours in immigration offices at border crossings or airports. In some cases, it results in a denial of admission.

To avoid such scenarios it’s important to understand the basics of Canadian work permits. With this article we begin a discussion on the fundamentals of Canadian work permits that will continue in future issues of Northern Exposure.

read more…

Wage Settlements Across Canada Slow Down — More in Private Sector

October 28, 2009 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) reports that wage settlements in unionized companies this year (January to August 2009) have averaged 2.4 percent. The results are based on 237 agreements covering 632,000 employees. Wage adjustments are averaging 2.5 percent in the public sector and 1.9 percent in the private sector.  See www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/labour_relations/info_analysis.

The spread between public- and private-sector settlements seems to be even larger in the last three reported months, as shown in the following table from HRDC. read more…

Remote Control: U.S. Employees Based in Canada

October 26, 2009 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Stephen Acker and Julia Kennedy

Gone are the days when a white-collar job always meant going into the office and occupying a cubicle from 9 to 5. New information technology and network capabilities have made the home office and telecommuting, if not commonplace, at least attainable for many. Employers have realized that they can have access to skilled employees from anywhere on the continent without the headaches of relocation or satisfying immigration laws. While the benefits of remote employment arrangements may be debatable, access to a rare skill set will often outweigh employers’ concerns about supervision.

And so we are in the age of the remote employee.

read more…

Workers’ Comp Throws Its ‘Employer’ Nets Wide

October 19, 2009 - by: Norman K. Trerise 1 COMMENTS

A British Columbia Court of Appeal decision has worrisome implications for companies that control elements of the operations of subcontractors or franchisees. Although it was about a franchise situation in B.C., it could have repercussions in other provinces and other business relationships.

What happened
In 2005, there was a robbery of a Petro-Canada service station. The robber got behind the counter and held a worker at knife point. A small swinging door was his only barrier to entry, and he kicked it down.

read more…

 Page 30 of 42  « First  ... « 28  29  30  31  32 » ...  Last »