So you’ve hired a new employee. Should you put it in writing? If so, what should it look like? What do you include? What is better left out? If you decide against an employment contract, what will the terms and conditions of employment be?
This question can be a vexing one. Will disputes be resolved in the employee’s country of origin? In the country in which the employee is now working? In the country in which your head office is located? In the country in which the employment contract was executed? All of the above? And how will you know?
You could be forgiven for being confused about this. The courts have been, too. What’s more, the answer that Canadian courts give will not necessarily be the same as the answer of a U.S. or foreign court. Here I can at least provide a brief outline of how a Canadian court should look at this issue.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Canada may make it easier for employees and employers to appeal decisions of administrative agencies to the courts.
In Canada, and from an HR perspective, such agencies include labor boards, labor arbitrators, human rights tribunals, pay equity tribunals, and employment standards adjudicators.
Workplace violence has become a hot topic among labor, employment, and health and safety regulators in Canada. Of course, workplace violence is hardly a new phenomenon. Certain workers like police officers have an inherent risk of workplace violence. Also, put enough people in an enclosed area under stressful conditions (i.e., the typical office scenario) and some form of conflict is bound to result.
Whether it’s actual physical aggression or other forms of workplace violence like threats or harassment, some research suggests that such conduct is on the rise.
No one can deny that security concerns have taken on monumental proportions in the post-9/11 era. Buzzwords like national security, homeland security, border security, supply chain security, perimeter security, and security threats have become part of our daily vocabulary. National security is also high on the list of priorities of our respective lawmakers.
In the past several years, the U.S. State Department has become increasingly strict in its enforcement of export and transportation controls, most importantly the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Does your Canadian business ask employees to sign releases in exchange for their severance packages? Imagine if an employee took the severance package, signed the release, then sued your company anyway.
It’s been a cold, wintry start to 2008 (at least in Canada). The cobwebs from New Year’s Eve have passed and New Years’ resolutions already have been broken. As February began, the groundhog indicated six more weeks of winter and Ontario employees were counting down the days until Family Day (February 18, 2008), Ontario’s new statutory holiday.
People are back from vacation and work is in full swing. Phones are ringing, faxes are churning, e-mails are popping up on computer screens. In the midst of the hum of the office as you think of the priorities for the year ahead, it occurs to you that your current collective agreement is set to expire in 2008.
Across Canada, employment standards laws provide for job-protected maternity leave for pregnant employees and parental leave for parents generally. In addition, the federal government provides financial benefits during these leaves through its Employment Insurance Act (EIA).
The Supreme Court of Canada recently declined to review an appeal of a decision of the Federal Court of Appeal that stated that the right to maternity leave and employment insurance benefits is restricted to biological mothers and excludes adoptive mothers.