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Author Archive - Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley is a copywriter, editor and researcher at First Reference. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, Inside Internal Controls and other First Reference publications. He writes about general HR issues, accessibility, privacy, technology in the workplace, accommodation, violence and harassment, internal controls and more. Read more

Family status accommodation: an infographic

Now that the summer is over and the new school year has arrived, employers may be hearing a little (or a lot) more about employees’ family scheduling problems and requests for accommodation.

 

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Police records checks ineffective, invade rights, says civil rights association

Police record checks are a poor tool to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job, according to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. An inaccurate, incomplete or inconsequential record can dissuade employers from hiring good candidates, and present a substantial barrier to employment for perfectly qualified individuals.

 

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Ostracism is different from harassment – and sometimes worse

You might have seen instances of bullying or harassment at your workplace—we certainly hear about them frequently—but have you witnessed ostracism? A series of recent studies by Canadian researchers find that social exclusion is distinct from direct harassment and bullying, and can actually be more insidious.

 

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Arbitrators should apply ‘privacy spectrum’ to personal information

The names of people involved in labour arbitration should be disclosed with the arbitrator’s decisions, unless there are compelling reasons not to do so, according to the open-court principle and the public’s interest. The British Columbia Labour Relations Board affirmed the law in a recent review of an arbitrator’s decision. The board also affirmed arbitrators’ […]

 

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Privacy class action to proceed

Canada will see its first class action lawsuit based on the new tort of invading another’s privacy, after a Bank of Nova Scotia employee leaked customers’ personal information to his girlfriend for personal gain. At least 138 customers were subsequently defrauded. Ontario’s Superior Court accepted that the employer was vicariously liable for the employee’s actions […]

 

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Slaw: Quebec bill would require small farms to collectively bargain

Quebec’s new government wants to ensure that all farm workers have the right to unionize and collectively negotiate working conditions with their employers. Minister of Labour Sam Hamad has introduced Bill 8, An Act to amend the Labour Code with respect to certain employees of farming businesses, which would require small farms to let a union represent their employees.

 

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Is bullying and harassment a problem in your organization?

Workplace bullying and harassment are making news across the country, and legislators and courts are trying to understand and address the twin issues. A recent HRinfodesk survey indicates that our readers are grappling with bullying and harassment as well. A couple of months ago, we asked:

 

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Ontario Employment Law Conference wrap-up: We learned the latest!

Last Tuesday, over 100 businesses from across Ontario joined us and the employment law team from Stringer LLP to discuss pressing employment issues like avoiding occupational health and safety penalties, accommodating employees’ family status, getting ready for the new Employment Standard, using employment contracts to protect your business, and the perils of employee benefits.

 

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Mistaken termination, no wrongful dismissal

Ten months after Imelda Roche went on medical leave, her employer sent her a termination letter, believing that she was better but choosing not to return to work. But when the employer found out Roche was still not well, it rescinded the termination and restored her benefits. Roche wasn’t impressed and sued for wrongful dismissal at the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

 

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Private member’s bill would curtail unpaid internships

Opposition MPP Jonah Schein has introduced a private member’s bill to place stricter limits on unpaid internships in Ontario. Bill 170, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 2014, doesn’t seek to eliminate unpaid internships entirely, but rather hopes to make employers more accountable and give interns (and students) more legal clout.

 

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Ontario Privacy Commissioner releases BYOD policy whitepaper

Employees have taken work home with them on laptops, portable media and via email for many years. Since the advent of the smartphone, however, the scale of the practice has expanded dramatically, and data is now more likely in workers’ pockets or purses than on their desks at home.

 

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Can employers publicize terminations via social media? Dallas’ police chief says yes

In the name of transparency and building public confidence in the local police force, Dallas police chief David O. Brown has begun posting announcements of staff terminations and demotions on the social networking services Twitter and Facebook. Chief Brown is surely blazing a trail with the controversial practice, but it remains to be seen whether others will follow—or if it’s even legal…

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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British Columbia workers’ compensation policies take effect Friday, November 1

In March 2013, the Workers’ Compensation Board released three new policies on the duties of employers, workers and supervisors with respect to workplace bullying and harassment. These policies come into effect on Friday, November 1, 2013.

 

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HRinfodesk poll result and commentary: Do you conduct criminal record checks? Should you?

Criminal record checks are often in the news, and the federal government was part of that news with recent changes to pardons (now called “record suspensions”) and a program that encourages employers to hire offenders. So we thought it would be a good time to ask our readers, “Does your organization conduct criminal record checks on potential candidates?”

 

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