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Author Archive - Employer Advisor, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

McCarthy Tétrault through their Employer Advisor blogs offers their perspectives on the latest legal developments applicable to the workplace. It provides their insights on legislative and regulatory developments, as well as new case law, while providing practical tips for employers and their human resources professionals when managing the workforce. McCarthy Tétrault is a Canadian law firm that delivers integrated business law, litigation services, tax law, real property law, labour and employment law nationally and globally. Several of their blog posts will be republished with permission on First Reference Talks. Read more

The Canadian Human Rights Commission publishes Impaired at Work: A guide to accommodating substance dependence

The national epidemic of opioid abuse and overdoses is almost a daily feature in news media. Meanwhile, recent figures indicate that prescriptions for painkillers continue to increase in Canada. It is in this context that the Canadian Human Rights Commission recently released a new guide: Impaired at Work: A guide to accommodating substance dependence.

 

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Fishing for notice: British Columbia Supreme Court addresses inducement and contingency factors in wrongful dismissal suits

Care is required when recruiting a potential employee, but not all active recruitment activities qualify as inducement. More than giving the employee the impression there is room to grow or job security is required. Actual evidence of promises made by the company and the employee’s reliance upon those promises is necessary to sustain a determination of inducement. Nevertheless, employers can avoid claims of inducement by using written employment agreements that contain “entire agreement” clauses and confirm that the employee has not been induced by any promises.

 

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Can an employment agreement executed after the employee starts work be enforced? The Ontario Court of Appeal says yes.

In Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that a “written employment agreement is not unenforceable merely because the employee signs it after starting to work”. The Court found the trial judge’s inference to be reasonable, noting that Deeley did not claim she reviewed the terms of her employment for the first time on April 24, 2007, or that the contract contained any new material terms. The Court acknowledged that the contract was likely signed the day after Deeley started work as “a matter of administrative convenience.” In these circumstances, fresh consideration was not necessary.

 

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Owner/operator Labour Market Impact Assessment and its importance for permanent residence applications in 2017

Any Canadian employer wishing to employ a temporary foreign worker (“TFW”) in Canada must first obtain authorization from the government, which is typically obtained by proving that the hiring of a TFW will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market. In most cases, the Canadian employer must apply to Employment and Social Development Canada, also known as Service Canada, for approval of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), previously called a Labour Market Opinion or LMO. A LMIA is a very detailed application process that is subject to a high level of review, and must be completed without error.

 

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Social media background checks and privacy laws

Social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and do business. Naturally, employers may want to take advantage of the convenience of performing background checks on social media. But with increased use of social media comes increased risk of a privacy violation.

 

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Beyond the final report: Government of Ontario charts its own course following the Changing Workplaces Review

We reported on the Government of Ontario’s release of the Changing Workplaces Review Final Report, which comprehensively reviewed Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 and Labour Relations Act, 1995. Today, the Government of Ontario announced its intention to introduce The Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act, 2017 in response to the 173 recommendations provided by the Final Report.

 

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Bill 17: Proposed changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Code

On May 24, 2017, the Government of Alberta tendered and passed first reading of Bill 17: Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act.

 

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While there may be damages for employee’s lack of resignation notice, there is no reliable substitute for an enforceable restrictive covenant…

A 2016 decision of the BC Court of Appeal is a good reminder to BC employers of the purpose of an employee’s obligation to provide reasonable notice of resignation and, if breached, what an employer can expect to recover. It also underscores the value of an enforceable restrictive covenant.

 

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Health record snooping nets hefty fine

In a recent case out of Goderich, Ontario a $20,000 fine, the highest of its kind in Canada, was handed out for a health privacy violation.

 

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Denial of coverage for medical marijuana under employee benefit plan found to be discriminatory

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Board found the Trustees’ justifications for denying an employee’s request for coverage to be “wholly inadequate.” The Plan provided coverage for “reasonable and customary charges incurred for medically necessary drugs and medicines” obtained legally by prescription, and did not require a DIN as a condition of coverage.

 

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Reasonable settlement offer prevents litigious complainant from proceeding

A recent decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal serves as a useful reminder of the utility of a reasonable settlement offer, which can result in the Tribunal putting an end to complaint proceedings without a hearing.

 

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Contravention à une disposition en matière de santé et sécurité du travail? Une accusation d’homicide involontaire coupable pourrait en résulter!

La Cour supérieure a rendu une décision qui élargit la portée du Code criminel dans le cas de violations de dispositions en matière de santé et sécurité du travail. Dans Fournier c. R., la Cour supérieure indique qu’une accusation d’homicide involontaire coupable peut être fondée sur une infraction de responsabilité stricte en matière de santé et sécurité au travail.

 

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Browsing history deleted to prevent embarrassment

In Catalyst Capital Group Inc v Moyse, 2016 ONSC 5271 the Ontario Superior Court considered whether the defendant, Brandon Moyse, who deleted his Internet browsing history from his personal computer in the face of a preservation order, had intentionally destroyed relevant evidence, giving rise to spoliation. Spoliation is an evidentiary rule that gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that destroyed evidence would be unfavourable to the party that destroyed it.

 

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A classic lesson regarding termination meetings

A recent case out of British Columbia provides a timely reminder of a best practice for Alberta employers when it comes to termination of an employee. In Saliken v Alpine Aerotech Limited Partnership, 2016 BCSC 832, a relatively short service employee was dismissed, allegedly for just cause.

 

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Sale of business pension transfer rules

Ontario has had new sale of business pension transfer rules (the Transfer Rules) since January 1, 2014. The Transfer Rules are found in section 80 of the Pension Benefits Act and the Asset Transfers under Sections 80 and 81 of the Act regulation. However, as with any regime which depends on a set of rules rather than the exercise of discretion, the Transfer Rules’ lack of flexibility may frustrate employment law and reasonable commercial considerations.

 

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