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British Columbia

Female employee was participant / instigator of crude, ongoing sexual banter; harassment complaint dismissed

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Kafer v. Sleep Country Canada and another (No. 2), 2013 BCHRT 289, the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled that a female employee was participant in, and instigator of, crude and ongoing sexual banter and therefore dismissed her sexual harassment complaint against her employer, Sleep Country Canada.

In reaching this conclusion, the Tribunal Member stated the following:

[32] The Supreme Court of Canada has defined sexual harassment as "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the victims of the harassment": Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd. (1989), 10 C.H.R.R. D/6205 at D/6227.

[33] In Mahmoodi v. University of British Columbia, [1000] B.C.R.T.D. No. 52 (Q.L.) the Tribunal set out the test for whether conduct is unwelcome. It stated:  read more »

WorkSafeBC announces latest administrative penalties imposed on British Columbia employers

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC issued a news release today concerning the latest administrative penalties imposed on employers. Of note:  read more »

WorkSafeBC approves 3 new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies to be effective November 1, 2013

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC has recently added the following announcement to its website:

At its March 2013 meeting, WorkSafeBC's Board of  Directors approved three new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies:

  • Employer Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-115-2
  • Worker Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-116-1
  • Supervisor Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-117-2

The Board of Directors' resolution is available for reference.

Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act set out the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors respectively. The new policies have been developed to clarify the obligations of employers, workers, and supervisors regarding preventing, where possible, or otherwise minimizing workplace bullying and harassment.  read more »

Can a corporate employer sue a former employee for defamation?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - United States

In a paper they presented at the CLEBC Employment Law Conference 2013 (held on May 9 - 10, 2013 in Vancouver), Mark Hamilton and Scott MacDonald addressed whether a corporate employer can sue a former employee for defamation for making disparaging claims against their former employer.

Mr. Hamilton and Mr. MacDonald are lawyers at Richards Buell Sutton LLP in Vancouver. The title of their paper was: "Potential Claims Against Departing Employees Without Written Agreements".

Based on their paper and presentation, here are some points of note:  read more »

Employee's pornography viewing at work not linked to recognized disability; dismissal upheld by arbitrator

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Health Care

Interior Health Authority (South Similkameen Health Centre) and Hospital Employees' Union, (R.P. Discharge) [2013] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 44 (Kate Young)