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PIPEDA

HR and IT: An uneasy alliance

HR is being called on to focus primarily on strategic goals and to add increasing value to organizations. The other field that has become an integral part of business is technology. It is therefore not surprising that in HRs effort to become increasingly relevant, IT is being leveraged in the execution of the HR function in an increasing number of ways. This e–HR revolution has taken many forms, from applicant tracking systems, to machine learning in recruitment and selection to software driven onboarding and employee HR support. The consequence of this is that more and more HR activities are being executed electronically—by a computer instead of by a person.

 

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Principle of accountability under PIPEDA

Under Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), there is nothing that prevents organizations from outsourcing the processing of data inside or outside of Canada—however, organizations must take all reasonable steps to protect that information from unauthorized uses and disclosures when it is in the hands of third party processors. This is where accountability, the first principle in PIPEDA, comes in; and there are obligations to meet regarding training staff that are highly relevant.

 

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“Safeguarding” personal information clarified

You may be wondering, what exactly is “safeguarding” personal information? Thankfully, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has clarified how safeguarding can reduce the risk of privacy breaches.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: an employee who described their workplace as a “sh*t hole” on Facebook was found to be justly terminated; how to prepare for marijuana legalization in Canada; and a pension and benefit plan provider who breached privacy law, causing an employee to lose life insurance coverage.

 

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Loose lips sink shifts?

A recent online article reported that two seventeen-year-old employees were fired from a Kansas City pizza joint for talking about their pay rates. Both were new employees with the same experience, and the female employee discovered she was earning $0.25/hour less than her male co-worker. When she contacted her employer for an explanation, she was fired for discussing wages with a co-worker, as was the male co-worker. The employer advised that discussing pay was against employer policy, even though both employees stated that such policy was never disclosed to them.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee’s complaint regarding video surveillance cameras pointed toward her work area without the employer informing her of the installation; an FAQ that looks at an employer’s overpayment of vacation pay on a former employee’s final pay; and the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s plan to conduct targeted employment standards and occupational health and safety blitzes in workplaces across the province over the next year.

 

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Digital Privacy Act is now law

The Digital Privacy Act (Bill S-4) passed into law, introducing (among other things) significant fines and mandatory breach notification (not yet in force) into the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

 

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Personal information and medical leaves – careful what you disclose

I recently read an interesting case made by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (decision 2014 – 014) stating that under subsection 5(3) of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) that the employer’s purposes for disclosing the employee’s personal information regarding his medical leave were not appropriate in the circumstances and were not necessary for the organization to meet its employee schedule management needs in the context of its work environment.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the Expedia annual vacation survey; the state of privacy in Canada; and, Alberta’s new progressive personal income tax system.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with major changes to PIPEDA; family status test in Alberta; and termination due to a mental disability.

 

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Theft is no reason to violate an employee’s rights

Imagine you were working as a clerk in a grocery store, and your manager suspected you of stealing some product off the shelf. She has no concrete evidence, only hearsay from a co-worker. An investigation turns up nothing, and you continue working as though nothing had happened. But the manager notified your employer, and your employer added your name to a database of suspected employee thieves, which all sorts of retailers of all sizes subscribe to in order to avoid hiring persons of questionable character.

 

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Video surveillance and the workplace – Part 2

A mixture of incognizance and apathy often prevails in the private sector when it comes to understanding and applying legal privacy considerations in the installation and use of video cameras…

 

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Year-end round-up

Like most of you, I’m sure, I was extra busy before Christmas last year, and to top it all off, I got sick and had to leave some things unfinished. So I couldn’t bring you this brief round-up of things that happened in the last three months of 2011, much of which has to do with technology and how employers will use it to interact with employees and customers. But it’s a new year and I’ve recovered from my illness and my holidays, so without further ado…

 

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Common law privacy rights: a shifting stance

The recent case of R. v. Cole 2011 ONCA 218, a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal suggests that employees may have some expectations of privacy with regard to work based emails under the Charter.

 

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First damage award in PIPEDA case

Here’s something readers might want to know about: the Federal Court has awarded damages in a case based on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. Why is that special? Well, it’s the first damages award in the 10-year history of the Act.

 

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