In March 2013, the Workers’ Compensation Board released three new policies on the duties of employers, workers and supervisors with respect to workplace bullying and harassment. These policies come into effect on Friday, November 1, 2013.
Four hundred and sixty-two people responded to our recent poll, Can you hold employees financially responsible for damaged workplace equipment (e.g., cellphone, laptop)? Of the respondents, 167 (36.15 percent) indicated yes. However, 148 (32.03 percent) disagreed and 147 (31.82 percent) were not sure. So, what is the right answer?
Regular readers may recall the article we wrote on the topic of officer liability. There we commented on circumstances in which officers of corporations under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (CNCA) (whether continued to it or incorporated there) will be exposed to personal liability. Not long after that piece was written, an Executive Director of a corporation considering continuing to the CNCA who is an employee and not an officer in accordance with the corporation's by-laws, asked us if she would owe a fiduciary duty to the corporation under the CNCA. On reflection, we concluded that the new officer provisions in the CNCA create a statutory framework wherein employees could be held liable for a breach of the same duties that are applicable to directors of those corporations. We left, for the moment, the question as to whether these duties were "fiduciary" or not.