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Slaw: The state of whistleblowing in Canada

Whistleblowing occurs when employees reveal corporate wrongdoing, usually in their organization, to law enforcement. Unfortunately, it is common for whistleblowers to experience demotion, dismissal and otherwise negative treatment from their employers after they disclose the malfeasance or corruption. In order to deal with this serious issue, some companies have created codes of ethics to ensure that their directors, officers and employees are aware of and adhere to standards of conduct that ensure the company performs and is represented in an honest and responsible manner.

However, it is necessary for laws to exist to protect employees who feel, in good faith, it is necessary to disclose wrongdoing. In addition to provisions in the Criminal Code that aim to protect employees who make disclosures, some jurisdictions have enacted specific whistleblower laws to provide these protections in the public and private sectors. As well, workers already receive some form of protection under the local Occupational Health and Safety Act, which protects them where they seek enforcement or give evidence in respect of the enforcement of that Act.

So what is the state of the law on whistleblowing?

For more, read my latest post on Slaw.

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Yosie Saint-Cyr

Managing Editor at First Reference Inc.
Yosie Saint-Cyr, LL.B., is a trained lawyer called to the Quebec bar in 1988 and is still a member in good standing. She practiced business, employment and labour law until 1999. For over 15 years, Yosie has been the Managing Editor of the following publications, Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources PolicyPro, HRinfodesk and Accessibility Standards PolicyPro from First Reference. Yosie is one of Canada’s best known and most respected HR authors, with an extensive background in employment and labour across the country. Read more
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