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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Secret recordings in the workplace: A review of legal and practical consequences

While it may be legal to surreptitiously record your own workplace conversations, it is another question altogether as to whether it is a good idea. Canadian courts have acknowledged time and again that trust is at the heart of the employment relationship.

 

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Top four tech tips for terminations

As technology continues to overhaul the workplace and drive change, what remains the same is the emotional uncertainty of termination. Neither the employee, nor the person tasked with conducting the termination, enjoy that awkward meeting.

 

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Introducing our newest guest blogger Lisa Stam from Koldorf Stam LLP

We are very pleased to announce that Lisa Stam, Koldorf Stam LLP will be blogging on First Reference Talks starting in January 2016 on the impact, risks and opportunities of social media and technology issues in the workplace, including issues related to BYOD and the mobile workforce, workplace misconduct, privacy breaches, evidentiary weight of social media information, social media crisis management, cross-jurisdictional and global issues with social media, and general strategy on handling social media in business, among other employment and human rights related topics.

 

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Does computer literacy come between your employees and their work?

We’ve made a fair amount of noise about the generational differences in today’s workplaces. There are four generations of workers in the labour market, each with different expectations and methods of work. But in most workplaces, regardless of workers’ ages and attitudes, there is one constant: they all use the same computers. Today’s computers might be versatile enough to support various working styles, but are workers—young and old—adaptable enough to use them efficiently?

 

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Personal information online: new tools, old responsibilities

Sometimes, technology creates new ways to exploit information faster than the law and business can keep up. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is trying to make sure that doesn’t happen in the case of behavioural advertising. Last year, the Privacy Commissioner conducted consultations on the new ways that organizations are collecting and using customers’ personal information, and prepared its Report on the 2010 Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Consultations on Online Tracking, Profiling and Targeting, and Cloud Computing.

 

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Slaw: Disgruntled former worker who hijacked network must pay city $1,485,791

In a recent survey of 500 information technology and data security workers, 40 percent said they could easily use their knowledge of encryption keys, shared passwords, weak controls and loopholes in data security programs to make off with information, or hold their organization’s data hostage. And 31 percent said that, even if they no longer worked for the company, with their knowledge of the systems they could access encryption keys and authorization codes and hack in remotely to snoop, secretly alter files or shut down the data system.

 

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Are our devices harming our health?

I’ve caved. The end of my phone contract has been looming large, and as I pondered my options, somehow I thought, “I’d really like to be more connected.” So I’m ditching my two-year-old, decidedly not smart, flip phone and getting an iPhone—and a data plan. Soon I’ll be able to tweet and update my Facebook status and share photos wherever I am. And I’m afraid.

 

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Most organizations still don’t encrypt data when it leaves the office

I recently read a news release by the Alberta Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that indicated that there are still high incidences of laptops containing personal information being stolen—without having security measures such as encryption put in place. The commissioner was left scratching his head.

 

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Improving web accessibility – our own!

Customers demand more of businesses in so many ways these days—better quality and safety, greater social and environmental responsibility, extra service, and accessibility. The law increases its demands frequently, too. Even our governments and public service providers have a hard time keeping up with the legal requirements! Making improvements in all of these areas can challenge an organization, but only accessibility offers the advantage of access to a market of unrealized potential.

 

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Workplace communication and the real world: email features for the quick-tempered and impulsive

You’ve written an email that says some things you might be better off saying in person—or not at all—right? Like when you wanted to tell off a co-worker—or supervisor—about taking credit for your work, or putting you down in front of the boss, or just for generally being a jerk. Maybe you were caught up in the anger of the moment—you let your temper get the best of you—or maybe you were just a bit—or a lot—drunk. And maybe you hit that “Send” button, and maybe you reconsidered before it was too late. I don’t like to imagine the result of sending such a message.

 

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Social media make it easy to create controversy, but smart practices can limit the risk

Technology usually helps us function by making daily tasks easier, safer, more efficient, and so on. But sometimes a technology comes along that doesn’t simply improve the way we do something, it actually creates a new type of behaviour. I think this is the case with online social networking, which allows individuals to broadcast to mass audiences in a way that wasn’t available in the past. The question remains, however, as to whether this activity makes life any easier! Some have certainly found it just causes them trouble.

 

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First Reference Talks… on your phone!

We recently added another way that our readers can access content on the First Reference blog: we’ve optimized it for smartphones and some other portable devices. If you have a Blackberry Storm, an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, a Palm Pre, an HTC Dream or Cupcake, or a Sanyo Incognito, or a phone that runs on Android or WebOS, you can experience our content in an easy-to-read and easy-to-access format that should load more quickly than ever.

 

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