List Identifies Canada’s Top 10 Employers

November 10, 2008 - by: Karen Sargeant 0 COMMENTS

Wondering if your company is a “best employer?” Canada’s Financial Post magazine recently identified Canada’s Top 10. The winners span the country. They include some of Canada’s best known companies, as well as some that are only well-known within their industry sector.

The Financial Post contacted 16,000 private-sector employers to participate in its competition. Of those, 2,100 employers participated. Those companies were judged on physical workplace; worker relations; health, financial and family benefits; vacation/time off; communications between management and staff; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

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Categories: Workplace Policies

List Identifies Canada’s Top 10 Employers

November 10, 2008 - by: Karen Sargeant 0 COMMENTS

by Karen Sargeant

Wondering if your company is a “best employer?” Canada’s Financial Post magazine recently identified Canada’s Top 10. The winners span the country. They include some of Canada’s best known companies, as well as some that are only well-known within their industry sector.

The Financial Post contacted 16,000 private-sector employers to participate in its competition. Of those, 2,100 employers participated. Those companies were judged on physical workplace; worker relations; health, financial and family benefits; vacation/time off; communications between management and staff; performance management; training and skills development; and community involvement.

read more…

Categories: Workplace Policies

Facing Up to Facebook and Other Social Networking Web Sites in the Workplace

November 04, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

What if one of your employees reports to you he is very upset about what a coworker (“John”) wrote in a social networking web site about their boss? The statements are false and injure the boss’ reputation. If seen widely, they would be hurtful to the boss’ family. You are shown the statements by the employee, who is one of the “friends” with access to the author’s personal page.

What can or should a Canadian employer do if employees are using Facebook or similar social networking Internet web sites to hurt the reputation of a coworker? What if they are not making injurious statements but are spending a lot of time on this while at work? What are the risks to the employer of employee use of these sites? What can you do to limit or control these risks?

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Categories: Employer's Tip / Privacy

Canada’s Supreme Court Awards RBC Dominion $1.5 Million from Branch Manager Who Defected to Merrill Lynch

October 28, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

On October 9, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in RBC Dominion Securities v. Merrill Lynch Canada. The court restored an award of approximately $1.5 million in damages against a branch manager who had coordinated the defection of almost all his branch’s sales group from RBC to Merrill Lynch.

In November 2000, the branch manager at RBC’s Cranbrook, British Columbia, office coordinated the defection of virtually all of the branch investment advisers and administrative staff. The branch manager, eight of 10 investment advisers, and five of seven administrative assistants all resigned without giving notice to RBC and joined Merrill Lynch. Only two very junior investment advisers, an office administrator, and a receptionist were left at RBC.

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Despite Election, Global Financial Crisis, Everything Stable for Employers in Canada

October 21, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

Employers with operations in Canada may well ask: “What’s going on up there? What will Canada’s federal election mean for business? How is the world financial crisis playing out there?”

It would appear that the most accurate answer to these questions, at this time at least, would be a typically understated Canadian one: “Everything is stable.”

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Ontario Court Allows Salespersons to Ignore Noncompetes

October 14, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 0 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

In an important recent decision, Ontario’s Court of Appeal has reconfirmed that noncompetition clauses will be enforced against departing employees only in exceptional circumstances. It allowed two insurance salespersons to take many of their clients to a competing insurance broker despite their contractual agreement to the contrary.

What happened?
Tim Allan and Jeff Kienapple worked for H.L. Staebler Company Limited. They sold commercial insurance (property, casualty, and automobile) to businesses. Because they were unhappy with new management, they resigned and immediately began working in a similar capacity for Stevenson & Hunt Insurance Brokers.

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Categories: Employment Contracts

Overtime Class Action Against KPMG Settled

October 07, 2008 - by: Karen Sargeant 0 COMMENTS

by Karen Sargeant

As we reported earlier this year, 2007 saw three overtime class action lawsuits in Canada — a $651 million class-action lawsuit filed against the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), followed quickly by a $20 million class action against KPMG and then a $350 million class action against a second major Canadian Bank, Scotiabank. Another class action, for $250 million, was filed against CN Railway in March 2008.

In September, the Ontario Superior Court approved a settlement of the KPMG case, making it the first of the class-action lawsuits to be settled. To resolve the class action, KPMG agreed to an overtime redress plan.

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Is wrongful dismissal litigation reform coming to Canada?

September 30, 2008 - by: Karen Sargeant 0 COMMENTS

by Karen Sargeant

Can fired employees afford to take their prior employers to court? Are trials too expensive? Are there better ways to secure justice for employees? These are some of the questions a group of lawyers in Ontario, Canada, have been considering.

Earlier this year, the Chief Justice of Ontario expressed concerns that employees can’t afford to “get their day in court.” He said that we should examine how to improve access to justice in employment cases. To that end, the Ontario Bar Association struck a Task Force on Wrongful Dismissal, which is in the process of considering various changes. The following changes are being discussed.

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Will the U.S economy affect business, workers in Canada?

September 23, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 1 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

Wall Street has seldom been in such disarray. There are bank and insurance company failures the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1929. The credit markets have been in disarray for months. The federal government rescue packages will significantly affect the deficit. Many are predicting a recession in the USA. How has this and how will it affect business and employment in Canada?

Although the Canadian and U.S. economies are inextricably linked, you’d never know it by looking at recent statistics. Despite the fact that American investors have historically been central to helping generate economic activity in Canada, there seems to be little evidence so far that the financial and housing market problems in the United States have slowed the Canadian economy.

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Can You Unilaterally Change an Employment Contract?

September 16, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 1 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk

Suppose you want to change an important term of your Canadian employee’s employment contract, such as the bonus plan, future salary adjustments or the termination package. Can you do it without the employee’s agreement? If so, how?

Western Inventory Service Ltd. recently found out the hard way that it couldn’t unilaterally alter an important part of an executive’s contract — his severance package — without first terminating the contract. That termination made the company liable for the very severance package it was seeking to reduce, plus most of the executive’s legal costs.

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