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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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What is the right to disconnect, and does it apply in Canada?

The right to disconnect refers to employees’ ability to disconnect from work and not engage in work-related communications while they are off-duty.

 

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Whose device is it anyway?

Many workplaces have adapted to the fluid use of technology and encourage their employees to use their own technology at work through bring your own device (BYOD) policies.

 

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Rise of the machines in the workplace

Is your workplace about to be automated? A recent study by McKinsey & Company suggests that about half of the activities (not jobs) carried out by workers could be automated right now with currently available technologies.

 

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Remote workers: Pros, cons and tips

Workflow and infrastructure will need to adjust if employees are working remotely. The more paperless and automated, the easier it is to make the transition to remote work. Video conferencing, phone calls and some sort of in-person meeting on a regular basis are all good practices to make sure that employees working from home still have an opportunity for in-person communication with other employees.

 

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recruiting

artificial intelligence

Stories about artificial intelligence (AI) stealing our jobs and robots going rogue have been in our collective consciousness for years. Elon Musk has also sounded the alarm bells’, calling AI the “biggest risk we face as a civilization”. While he may know a few things I don’t, I can’t say that I agree. Always one to embrace technology, I think AI has great potential to be used by businesses in the HR space, such as to make hiring practices more efficient and more fair.

 

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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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