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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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Invasion of personal privacy

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v. Tsige deals with a novel claim, one for damages for invasion of personal privacy. This decision has garnered a great deal of comment in the popular press in the time since its release. Is the decision as radical as some writers have suggested? What are the implications for privacy rights in Ontario, and, in particular, the conduct of employers and employees?

 

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Slaw: Using employee (patient) health information in human resources investigation

The Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner recently confirmed that Alberta Health Services (AHS) breached the rights of one of its employees by intentionally using information from his addiction counselling against him during a human resources investigation. The breach of the employee’s personal health information clearly contravened the Health Information Act (HIA).

 

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Domestic violence and the workplace – balancing privacy and safety

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of the requirements of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace) 2009 are uncontroversial, and most organizations should have little trouble understanding them and complying. However, one aspect of the law has caused more discussion and confusion than any other: the domestic violence provisions, which require employers to intervene in instances where they suspect (based on reasonable evidence) that an employee has suffered or is suffering from domestic violence, particularly if that violence might reach into the workplace.

 

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Customer privacy policies and employee handling of customer personal information

A weekend Toronto Star article reported that employees at the Canada Revenue Agency are improperly reviewing the private financial affairs of taxpayers. Some are using agency computers to give favoured treatment to colleagues, friends, family—and themselves…

 

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Clarification on Ontario Bill 168

On January 27, 2010, I attended the HRPA annual conference. I was most interested on the session titled, Violence in the Workplace: An Update on Bill 168 from the Ministry of Labour. I needed some clarification on possible exemptions to the new violence and harassment prevention law and the application of certain measures in the bill.

 

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Disclosing persons with a history of violence

The Ontario Occupational Health and safety Act violence and harassment prevention provisions (Bill 168) require employers to provide information, including personal information, about a person with a history of violent behaviour if:

 

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