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.
In a recent decision from the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, the judge considered the rights of an employer to claim compensation for an employee who had allegedly stolen a business idea. The facts of the case are not unique; indeed, they arise frequently in the give-and-take between employer and employee.
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.