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Alberta all-party MLA committee meets today to review draft recommendations on future of minimum wage

Topics: - Minimum Wage
Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Today's Calgary Herald had an article ("Alberta MLAs reopen minimum wage debate; is $8.80 too much to pay?") about an Alberta all-party MLA committee meeting being held today to discuss draft recommendations on the future of that province's minimum wage.

The article states that:  read more »

"PIPA Conference 2010" scheduled for Calgary on November 2 & 3, 2010

Topics: - Conferences - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Alberta - British Columbia

The 5th annual “PIPA Conference" will be held on November 2nd & 3rd, 2010 at the
Hotel Arts in Calgary, Alberta. The conference - aimed at assisting organizations in BC and Alberta be privacy compliant  - is now in its fifth year. Last year's conference was held in Vancouver.

The title of this year's conference is "PIPA Conference 2010: Getting through the Privacy Jungle - How to see the Forest and the Trees”. The conference agenda is as follows:  read more »

"Privacy Topics in Labour Relations"

Lorene A. Novakowski with the assistance of Kelly Duggleby, both of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP in Vancouver, wrote a paper entitled, "Privacy Topics in Labour Relations" for the Labour Relations Conference - 2010 (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) (June 2010).

The paper addresses the following:

  • Recent Privacy Cases of Interest in Labour Relations

    • Background Checks
    • GPS
    • Video Surveillance on the Picket Line
    • Access Request to Unions
  • Access and Privacy Issues: The White Paper of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia A Guide for Tribunals
  • Charter Values and Surveillance Should Doman Finally be Abandoned

Mandatory reporting of child pornography in Canada

Jurisdiction: - Alberta - Manitoba - Nova Scotia - Ontario

In an April 2009 post, I reported on the pending legislation in Ontario - Bill 37 - which will amend the Child and Family Services Act (Ontario) and imposes a positive obligation on any person in Ontario, including employers and employees, to report child pornography.

An article in the May 3, 2010 edition of the Canadian HR Reporter - which recently landed on my desk - points out that Ontario is just one of four Canadian provinces to take action in this regard. To summarize from the article (and other sources):  read more »

An overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status"

A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status": 

  • It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
  • Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
  • Quebec uses the term "civil status".
  • The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".

(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).

"Disability Management Compliance"

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Three Calgary lawyers at Gowlings - David Corry, Loretta Bouwmeester and Chris Sabat - have prepared a a 48-page overview of the key legal considerations for employers in "Disability Management Compliance". The Table of Contents is as follows:  read more »

Pre-employment credit checks conducted by Mark's Work Wearhouse found in breach of Alberta privacy legislation

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In a decision that came out on February 16, 2010, the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that Mark's Work Wearhouse's practice of conducting pre-employment credit checks on its prospective sales associates breached the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act.

You can read the decision (Investigation Report P2010 IR 001) here. You can read a review of the case (The HR Space: Pre-Hiring Credit Checks Restricted in Alberta, May 4, 2010) by Fasken Martineau here.

"Charge to the Jury" on awarding aggravated damages in Alberta wrongful dismissal case

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2010 ABQB 220 - this is further to my previous two posts - the judge also recited his Charge to the Jury on the issue of aggravated damages at para. 62:

On aggravated damages, the Charge to the Jury reflected an employer's obligation of good faith and fair dealing and the recognition that when an employment relationship ruptures, the employee is at his most vulnerable and in most need of protection. This was described in my Charge to the Jury at pages 19 - 20 which reads:-  read more »

"Charge to the Jury" on awarding punitive damages in Alberta wrongful dismissal case

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

The wrongful dismissal action in Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited (see previous post) was heard by an Alberta jury.

In Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2010 ABQB 220, the 13th written decision in this case, the judge laid out his Charge to the Jury on the issue of punitive damages at para. 61:

On the issue of punitive damages, the Charge to the Jury followed the specific guidelines set by the Supreme Court of Canada in Whiten v. Pilot Insurance Co. The Guidelines and Restrictions were stated painstakingly with many warnings given to the Jury. My Charge to the Jury at pages 20 - 21 reads as follows:-  read more »

Alberta jury awards almost $1 million in damages to employee dismissed for sexual harassment

The case of Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Limited, 2010 ABQB 73 (CanLII), concerned a senior employee in a management position was dismissed for just cause based on alleged sexually harassment and insubordination. At the time, he had worked for Home Hardware for almost 17 years and was over the age of 50.

The alleged incidents occurred in late 2001/early2002 at the Home Hardware distribution centre in Wetaskiwin, an hour's drive from Edmonton.

The first complainant alleged that the Plaintiff, Mr. Elgert, pushed her into a dark storage room, pushed her up against a table, held her hands down and wiggled his body between her legs.

The second compliant alleged that a few months later while she was cleaning a first aid room in the warehouse, the Plaintiff entered the room, turned off the light and shut the door. He then bumped her backwards until she fell onto a cot. He laid on top of her, and lingered there.

One of the complainants was the daughter of the head of the distribution centre.  read more »