Skip to Content

Alberta

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 »

Bill 54 amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act now in force

Topics: - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Alberta

The Bill 54 amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act came into force on May 1, 2010.

The impact of the amendments - which are found in the Personal Information Protection Amendment Act, 2009 (S.A. 2009, c.50) and the Personal Information Protection Act Amendment Regulation  - are addressed in three new Information Sheets published by the Alberta government:

  • Information Sheet #11 provides an overview of the legislated process now in place for notification where there has been a security breach in relation to personal information.
  • Information Sheet #12 explains the Act's new provisions for notification and for policies and practices with respect to service providers outside Canada in the context of the Act's existing requirements.

Does the Ontario Human Rights Code protect employees charged with a criminal offence?

Does the Ontario Human Rights Code ("OHRC") protect employees charged with a criminal offence? The answer is "no" based on a series of decisions by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") over the last year.

Ontario Human Rights Code

The OHRC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of an employee's "record of offences". The OHRC states that "record of offences" means a conviction for:

(a) an offence in respect of which a pardon has been granted under the Criminal Records Act (Canada) and has not been revoked, or

(b) an offence in respect of any provincial enactment.

Decision in de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc.

In a February 2009 decision, de Pelham v. Mytrak Health Systems Inc. 2009 HRTO 172 (CanLII), the chair of the OHRT ruled that the "record of offences" provisions do not encompass criminal charges. Specifically, he stated:  read more »

Making single mother work night shifts not discrimination based on family status, Alberta arbitration board rules

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

A three-person Alberta arbitration board has ruled that making a single mother of a 11 year-old work 30 or so night shifts a year is not discrimination based on family status. The case is Government of Alberta (Solicitor General Department) and Alberta Union of Provincial Employees ("Jungwirth Grievance") (February 15, 2010).

As it relates the law in this unsettled area, the board stated:  read more »

Upcoming labour, employment and human rights law conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest

Topics: - Conferences

Here is a partial list of upcoming labour law, employment law and human rights law  conferences in Western Canada/the Pacific Northwest:

March 2010

17-18:    2010 Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Conference, (Lancaster House)

18:        Legal Symposium: Developing Your Employment Law Knowledge, Surrey, BC  (BCHRMA)

April 2010

14-15:   The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Regina, SK (labourlawonline.ca)

20:        IPM Vancouver One Day Conference (Institute of Professional Management)

28-29:   The 2010 Accommodation Conference, Edmonton, AB (labourlawonline.ca)  read more »

Alberta's privacy sector privacy legislation (PIPA) to be amended

Topics: - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Alberta

The Bill 54 amendments to Alberta's Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) were passed last year and will come into force at a, as yet, undetermined date in the future.

This article by law firm McCarthy Tetrault states that, among other things, the amendments will clarifiy and expand an organizations' obligations under the Alberta PIPA relating to:

  • transferring personal information to service providers outside Canada;
  • collecting, using or disclosing employee information;
  • personal information that is lost, or that is accessed or disclosed, without authorization; and
  • personal information that is no longer reasonably required.

Lancaster House announces 2010 Calgary Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Lancaster House has announced the details of its 2010 Calgary Labour Arbitration and Policy Conference. The conference will be held on June 10 and 11, 2010 at the Westin Calgary. It will be co-chaired by Arbitrator John Moreau, union counsel Leanne Chahley (Blair Chahley) and employer counsel, Barbara Johnston (Stikeman Elliott LLP). Early bird rates are available until Februry 12, 2010. More information can be found here.