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Employer liability

Bore out: Workplace boredom and employer liability

Despite workplace boredom being a mundane reality of some working lives, it may also be the catalyst for more serious workplace concerns. At the extreme, in limited circumstances, boredom could even form the basis for constructive dismissal.

 

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Employer-sponsored events: Beware of summer BBQ blunders

company-barbecue-picnic

So don’t get me wrong, I love staff picnics and BBQs as much as anyone and think they are a great opportunity for staff to bond outside of their regular departments and duties.  In fact as HR it is often both my responsibility and pleasure to help plan these events for my organization!  However when you start to think about what can go wrong from an employer responsibility perspective rather than an employee engagement perspective; you begin to wonder if the prospective summer BBQ will balloon into a colossal blunder.

 

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The expanding scope of employer liability under the Human Rights Code

The recent human rights decision of Morgan v. Herman Miller Canada Inc. examines the issue of employer liability under the Human Rights Code of Ontario. What happens when there are allegations of discrimination but no findings?

 

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Your organization needs a social media policy

More than 19 million Canadians check Facebook at least once per month and 14 million check every day. There are more than 200 million active users of Twitter, and around 400 million tweets sent daily. LinkedIn boasts 8 million Canadian users. These stats confirm what you probably already know: your employees are on social media. They are likely on social media multiple times a day, which means that they are likely using social media at work.

 

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Employer liable under human rights for consultant’s discriminatory action

While many employers in Canada understand that they have obligations under human rights legislation, they likely do not appreciate that they can also be liable if a consultant contracted to provide services on their behalf engages in discriminatory action. This is what occurred in Ontario in the recent case of Reiss v CCH Canadian Limited, 2013 HRTO 764.

 

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HRinfodesk poll result and commentary: Can you hold employees financially responsible for damaged workplace equipment (e.g., cellphone, laptop)?

Four hundred and sixty-two people responded to our recent poll, Can you hold employees financially responsible for damaged workplace equipment (e.g., cellphone, laptop)? Of the respondents, 167 (36.15 percent) indicated yes. However, 148 (32.03 percent) disagreed and 147 (31.82 percent) were not sure. So, what is the right answer?

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with breach of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements; how an employer was held liable despite the employee having suffered no discrimination; and how individuals can now delay receiving their Old Age Security pension plan.

 

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Do you need a cellphone policy for your workplace? And should cellphones be subsidized?

It seems that the majority of respondents to our recent HRinfodesk poll believe that they do need a cellphone policy. Last September we asked you: Does your company have a cellphone policy? 289 (61.75 percent) respondents out of 468 said they do; 163 (34.83 percent) respondents indicated they did not have a cellphone policy; and 16 believed they did not need one. So do you need one or not?

 

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Expanded citizen’s arrest law and the Canadian workplace

The Conservative government is poised to enact the first substantive expansion of citizen’s arrest laws in Canada since 1955. The catalyst for the Bill C-26 amendment to the citizen’s arrest section of the Criminal Code of Canada was the 2010 case of Toronto grocer David Chen who faced criminal assault charges after performing a citizen’s arrest of a habitual thief he had seen stealing from his store earlier in the day.

 

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After the Chilean mine disaster – How HR got it wrong

The first anniversary of the Chilean mine disaster is an opportune time to take a closer look at the key aspects of managing human resources, and how we can avoid some of the mistakes that were made during the Chile mine incident.

 

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The new age of workplace gossip – TMI!

I’ve discussed workplace gossip here before, and what bosses can do to prevent it or at least reduce the potential harm, but there are a couple of hyper-modern developments that I didn’t get into: reality television and the Internet. These two things have created a culture of “sharing”, for lack of a better word, that encourages people at play or work to divulge the most mundane and private details of their lives to others—the kind of information that one previously might only have shared with family or best friends.

 

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Alberta tries again to ban the use of cellphones while driving

The reliance on cellphones has led to an increase in talking on a cellphone while driving. Statistics show that driving while talking or texting on a cellphone is leading to driver distractions that cause car accidents. That’s why, on April 14, 2010, the Alberta government introduced…

 

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Employer liability and social media

Recent case law and new technologies have raised the prospect of employer liability for the statements of employees on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 

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