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Canada/Federal

Canadian Human Rights Commission "Cautions Employers on Rights of Aging Workers"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a news release on March 26, 2012 that "Cautions Employers on Rights of Aging Workers". The release reads:

On December 16, 2011, the Government of Canada repealed the section of the Canadian Human Rights Act that permitted federally regulated employers to impose mandatory retirement in some circumstances.

This measure was included in the Budget Implementation Act, which also stipulated a one-year transition period before the repeal of section 15 (1) (c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act takes effect.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has received inquiries and is aware of media commentary about employers seeking to take advantage of the transition period to force employees to retire before they are ready to. While there is no evidence that this is taking place, the Commission believes it is prudent to caution any employer that might be considering such action to think again.  read more »

Federal government abolishes mandatory retirement except where it is bona fide occupational requirement

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The federal government has abolished mandatory retirement in federally regulated workplaces except where it is a bona fide occupational requirement ("BFOR").

For more on this development, see this article by Michelle S. Henry at Borden Ladner Gervais: "Elimination of Mandatory Retirement for Federally Regulated Employees (December 2011).

And see also
this article by Ralph N. Nero and Keri L. Bennett at Faskens:  "Another Gong Sounds for the End to Mandatory Retirement" (January 11, 2011).

This is the text of a news release issued by the Canadian Human Rights Commission on December 16, 2011:  read more »

Teamsters Local 31 in contempt of court for impeding traffic during Rocky Mountaineer labour dispute

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

In Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31 2011 BCSC 1720, the court found that the Teamsters Local Union 31, through its officers, had deliberately disobeyed a previous court order (as it relates to not impeding traffic) and thus the union was in contempt of court.

This was the second time the union had been found to be in contempt of a court order during the Rocky Mountaineer labour dispute. The first time is detailed in this decision: Great Canadian Railtour Company Ltd. v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31, 2011 BCSC 1149.

Complaint into RCMP workplace harassment initiated by Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Public Safety

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a federal body housed in Public Safety Canada department, has initiated a complaint and investigation into RCMP workplace harassment.

The November 16, 2011 news release announcing the complaint states:

Ian McPhail, the Interim Chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (Commission) has initiated a complaint and a public interest investigation into the conduct of RCMP members regarding the handling of allegations of harassment within the workplace.

"I am satisfied that, given recent events, there are reasonable grounds for me to conduct a review of RCMP procedures pertaining to workplace harassment," said Mr. McPhail.  read more »

Federal government re-introduces amendments to PIPEDA that address employee personal information

Topics: - PIPEDA - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The federal government recently re-introduced legislation - Bill C-12, Safeguarding Canadians' Personal Information Act -  to amend the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA").

Once passed, the amendments will make the rules around employee personal information clearer for employers and, in some case, more employer friendly.

The same amendments were introduced in May 2010 but expired or died on the order paper when the federal election was called and Parliament was dissolved in March 2011. See my previous entry here: Federal government introduces long awaited amendments to PIPEDA.

The government's September 29, 2011 news release announcing the re-introduction of the amendments can be found here: Government of Canada Moves to Enhance Privacy of Individuals during Commercial Transactions.  read more »

Federal Privacy Commissioner launches handbook to help lawyers apply PIPEDA to their practices

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Federal Privacy Commissioner has launched on online handbook - PIPEDA and Your Practice - A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers - to help lawyers apply the federal private sector privacy legislation to their practices.

"Written by lawyers for lawyers, PIPEDA and Your Practice - A Privacy Handbook for Lawyers describes best practices in managing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, responding to requests for access to personal information, and the potential application of PIPEDA. The Handbook covers practical privacy issues that arise in the course of managing a law firm and conducting litigation," stated the Commissioner's office in its August 16, 2011 news release announcing the handbook.

Litigators will likely find the "Privacy Issues in Civil Litigation" section to be of significant value.

Federal Labour Minister Raitt urges Canada Post and CUPW to reach an agreement

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Federal Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, issued a media release today urging Canada Post Corporation and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) to reach a renewal of their collective agreement.

As set out in the release:

  • The collective agreement covers a unit of approximately 50,000 postal workers;
  • The agreement expired on January 31, 2011;
  • Negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW - Urban Operations Unit started in October 2010; and
  • The parties will acquire the legal right to strike or lockout on May 25, 2011, at 12:01 a.m.