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Failure to disclose mental disorder upon hiring not grounds for dismissal; termination was discriminatory

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

In ADGA Group Consultants Inc. v. Lane [2008] O.J. No. 3076 (Div. Ct.), the court upheld a decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (2007 HRTO 34) that the employee's failure to disclose his mental disorder upon hiring was not grounds for dismissal, and that his termination 8 days after he started employment was discriminatory.

Some personal real estate corporations now required to register with WorkSafeBC

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The following was in the BC Government's "Employers' Advisers" Winter 2008 newsletter:

Amendments to the Real Estate Services Regulation which will allow individual real estate licensees to form personal real estate corporations as of January 1, 2009 mean some licensees will be required to register with WorkSafeBC.

Under the Workers' Compensation Act, incorporated companies are required to register with WorkSafeBC to cover workers and any principal active in the company's operations.

For real estate agencies, the base rate for 2009 is $0.19 per $100 of assessable payroll; one of the lowest rates ofv any industry.

"Criminal Offences and Discrimination in Hiring: Can Employers Refuse to Hire an Employee Due to a Pardoned Criminal Offence?"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Deborah J. Hudson at Filion Wakely has written an article entitled, "Criminal Offences and Discrimination in Hiring: Can Employers Refuse to Hire an Employee Due to a Pardoned Criminal Offence?" (November 24, 2008).

The article summarizes the Supreme Court of Canada's 6/2 decision in Montréal (City) v. Quebec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse), 2008 SCC 48.

New "Violence Prevention in the Work Place" regulations impose duties on federally-regulated employers

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Part XX of the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, entitled Violence Prevention in the Work Place, came into effect on May 28, 2008.

The Part XX provisions prescribe steps that federally-regulated employers in Canada must implement in their work place to protect employees against violence.

The definition of "work place violence" is any action, conduct, threat or gesture of a person towards an employee in their work place that can reasonably be expected to cause harm, injury or illness to that employee.

The federal government has issued a publication on Part XX. Among other things, it sets out what an employer should include in its work place violence prevention policy.  read more »

“How Far is Too Far?” Termination and Accommodation of Disabled Employees"

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Alberta lawyers Donald J. Wilson, Jonathan Cummings and Wendy-Anne Berkenbosch, of Davis LLP prepared/presented a paper on “How Far is Too Far?” Termination and Accommodation of Disabled Employees" for the CBA Pensions and Labour Joint Subsection Meeting on October 27, 2008.

The paper addresses the following topics:  read more »

BC Labour Relations Board issues decision flowing from film industry inquiry

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Film & TV

The BC Labour Relations Board issued it decision today flowing from the film industry inquiry.

The Board had been ordered to conduct the inquiry - under section 41 of the Labour Relations Code - by the BC Minister of Labour and Citizens' Services in February 2008. The Minister was concerned that the film industry was "facing various challenges and factors that threaten industrial stability".

The parties involved in the inquiry were the:  read more »

Canadian Human Rights Commission releases "Policy and Procedures on the Accommodation of Mental Illness"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Canadian Human Rights Commission recently created an internal policy and procedural guideline on the Accommodation of Mental Illness, which they have decided to share with others.

According to the Commission, "The policy...outlines the accommodation process and
provides guidance to help managers and supervisors take the initiative to ensure employees with a mental illness are offered appropriate accommodation when necessary."

The document will be of significant value to any organziation looking to create its own written policy setting out how it will satisfy its legal duty to accommodate employees with mental illnesses. You can view the policy here.

Second class action overtime lawsuit - valued at $360 million - filed against CIBC

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Already facing a possible class action overtime lawsuit filed on behalf of its tellers, The Globe and Mail is reporting that CIBC - this time CIBC World Markets Inc. - is now also facing a second possible overtime class action lawsuit.

This one has been filed on behalf of CIBC World Markets' investment bankers, analysts and investment advisers. It is valued at $360 million. Law firm Juroviesky & Ricci LLP in Toronto is acting or the plaintiff.

The October 30, 2008 Globe article ("CIBC gets cuffed with second overtime lawsuit") can be found here.

BC Supreme Court issues first judicial review of PIPA

Topics: - Judicial Review - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Given that the BC Privacy Commissioner has issued only a very limited number of decisions under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) in the more than four years since it has come into effect, there was a measure of anticipation regarding the decision in Sochowski v. British Columbia (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2008 BCSC 1390, which was the BC Supreme Court's first judicial review of one of these decisions.

The underlying privacy issue centered on a complaint filed by a long serving employee of Finning Canada about its new policy that required employees to provide their "driver abstracts" and insurance claim histories to the company on an annual basis. (The drivers abstract contains some information contained on a person's drivers license, and some that's not). Finning's position was that the information was necessary for insurance purposes.  read more »

"The Limits of the Application Game - Why Employee Privacy Matters"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

"The Limits of the Application Game - Why Employee Privacy Matters" (2008) is the title of a paper written by Dan Michaluk,

Mr. Michaluk is a lawyer at Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP in Ontario.

Although, as Mr. Michaluk states, there is an apparent privacy rights "gap" in Ontario employment law, he uses the paper to: describe the various sources of employee privacy rights in five parts:

  1. rights in privacy statutes;
  2. human rights and privacy statutes;
  3. privacy regulation in other statutes;
  4. contractual privacy rights; and
  5. the privacy tort.

His intent in writing the paper is to:

...illustrate that privacy rights are rooted in many sources, that there are risks of newly-developing sources of employee privacy rights and, overall, that employee privacy does matter.