Can a company which provides a corporate e-mail account to a contractor, and then gets into a legal dispute with that contractor, use the contractor’s emails in that corporate account in the litigation? The answer appears to be no, in certain circumstances.
Increasingly, Canadian courts have recognized an in-between class of agents that are not technically employees or not technically independent contractors. Over the past few years, our courts have come up with a hybrid category of agents called "dependent contractors." These are independent individuals who work so closely with employers, and whose relationship status with their "employer" is so sufficiently long-lasting, as to allow them entitlement for reasonable notice.
I have often written and spoken about misclassification of workers, specifically that many organizations agree to call workers “contractors” or “consultants” even though they are, in reality, employees. The bottom line is that our courts and government agencies, including the Canada Revenue Agency, will not be swayed by the terms used in a document or the manner in which parties describe their relationship. They will look at the reality of the situation, and...
Established in 1995, First Reference Inc. (known as La Référence in Quebec) provides Canadian organizations of any size with practical and authoritative resources to help ensure compliance.