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Author Archive - Lisa Stam, Spring Law

Lisa Stam is founder of Spring Law, a virtual law firm advising exclusively on workplace legal issues for employers and executives. She practices all aspects of employment, labour, privacy, and human rights law, with a particular interest in legal issues arising from technology in the workplace. Lisa’s practice includes a wide range of entrepreneurs in the tech space, as well as global companies with smaller operations in Canada. In addition to the day to day workplace issues from hiring to firing, Lisa frequently blogs and speaks on both the impact, risks and opportunities of social media and technology issues in (and out of) the workplace, as well as the novel ways in which changing expectations of privacy continues to evolve employment law. Read more here.

How to remote work well

Today, all sorts of positions are advertised with a remote working option, in part due to the ever-growing desire amongst today’s workers to have options in their workplace.

 

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Will saving provisions no longer save us?

Saving provisions are widely used in employment agreements to ensure that even if a decision-maker finds that some aspect of some clause is not enforceable due to the fact that it could possibly, maybe, one day, maybe, sorta violate the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the saving provision will communicate to that judge that this was not the employer’s intention to do so.

 

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Ministry of Labour inspections

The Ministry of Labour has been busy implementing its Healthy and Safe Ontario Workplaces Strategy. Introduced by the previous Wynne government, the initiative has focused on small Ontario industrial businesses. A small business is one with fewer than 50 workers.

 

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All about overtime

Despite many workplaces that are trying hard to keep work hours reasonable and limit them to 40 hours per week, in busy workplaces, overtime is very often inevitable – at least once in awhile.

 

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Workplace data theft – Protect your company with best practices

The Capital One Data Breach has been big news lately, and for good reason. It’s a big deal. This breach compromised the data of over 100 million Capital One customers. Instead of a shadowy overseas hacker or a creepy crawler from the dark web, the hacker was a former employee of the cloud hosting company through which Capital One stored their data.

 

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Accommodating addictions

A labour arbitration decision out of Nova Scotia has got us thinking about what will qualify as addiction and justify accommodation in the work setting.

 

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Requiring agility – How much can an employer change job duties?

How flexible can employers expect their employees to be when it comes to having their roles and duties changed? And how important are these promises of agility in the employment contract?

 

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Fired by a robot!

We have truly reached an age where people and robots are working together and where robots are effectively performing an HR function. HR, unlike a self-checkout or an assembly line robot, is something we normally think of as a soft, people only skill!

 

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Let’s talk ergonomics!

You may be scratching your head at our title. What’s ergonomics got to do with law? Maybe even asking, what the heck is ergonomics? Well in this post we will answer both of those questions and tell you why workplace ergonomics should be on the radar of employees and employers alike.

 

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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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Costs and legal tech

At SpringLaw we love legal tech and consequently a few recent cost decisions have caught our eye. In both Cass v. 1410088 Ontario Inc. (“Cass”) and Drummond v. The Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. (“Drummond”) justices of the Ontario Superior Court made comments about artificial intelligence and legal research.

 

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Cannabis at the office holiday party

The season of the office holiday party is upon us! In addition to merriment, this time of year can bring a lot of risk for employers. And there’s a new risk this year.

 

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Even robots are a little bit racist: Al bias in recruitment

How would you like to perform only the most high-level and uniquely human elements of your job? Are your skills really best utilized on data entry, rote memorization and pushing paper? Artificial Intelligence (AI) promises to delegate all the drudgery of your job to machines while freeing you up to mingle with clients on the golf course and answer phone calls from your private yacht in the Adriatic Sea.

 

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To google or not to google? Candidate background checks

In the information age it’s usually relatively easy to find out all about someone by doing a simple Google search. The burning question of online daters, “do I google my date before the date?” applies equally to employers. Can, and should, an employer background check a candidate? If so when? And how deep can and should they go?

 

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