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Criminal Charges & Convictions

Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers posts factum in SCC case concerning privacy, work computers

The Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE) is an association of management-side labour and employment lawyers across Canada that was created in 2004.

In  a news release issued today, it announced it is intervening before the Supreme Court of Canada in the R v. Cole case. The release states as folllows:

In a case involving a teacher and nude sexually explicitly images of a grade 10 student, the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (CACE) has intervened before the Supreme Court on the case, R. v. Cole, on the issue of privacy and work computers.  read more »

"Criminal Behaviour and other Off-Duty Conduct"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Vancouver law firm Roper Greyell has published an Information Update entitled "Criminal Behaviour and other Off-Duty Conduct" (July 20, 2011), which address the question: What can you do about your employees' off-duty conduct? 

ONCA: teacher had reasonable expectation of privacy on work computer in face of no clear policy

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Education

In R. v Cole, 2011 ONCA 218, a criminal law case, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a high school teacher had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of a work laptop computer on which he was entitled to store personal information.

In making this finding, the court pointed in part to the fact that the employer had no clear privacy policy relating to teachers' work laptops, and no policy statement  reserving the right to monitor or search the teachers' laptops.

However, the appeal court further ruled in its March 22, 2011 decision that:  read more »

"Accused but Not Yet Convicted: What to do When Your Employee is Accused of a Crime?"

"Accused but Not Yet Convicted: What to do When Your Employee is Accused of a Crime?" (March 29, 2011) is the title of a bulletin written by two lawyers - Anthony Houde and Emilie Paquin-Holmested at the Montreal office of Fasken Martineau.

BC Privacy Commissioner to consider use of PRIME police database for employment-related criminal record checks

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

BC's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, issued a news release yesterday in which she confirmed that her office:

  • has been examining the issue of employment-related criminal records checks for several months; and 
  • will take the recent concerns voiced by the BC Civil Liberties Association ("BCCLA") about the PRIME police database into consideration.

PRIME stands for "Police Records Information Management Environment".

The Commissioner's release goes on to state:  read more »

Best practices guide on ciminal background checks published for US employers

Jurisdiction: - United States

The National Employment Law Project is a US advocacy organization for employment rights of lower-wage workers, It has offices across the United States and a staff of lawyers, policy experts and researchers.

Of note to US employers, the Project recently published a "Criminal Background Checks: A Best Practices Guide" (March 17, 2011), which speaks to best practices in the US context.

Newfoundland & Labrador issue guidelines on new “criminal ground" protection in Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Newfoundland & Labrador

In July 2010, Newfoundland and Labrador's Human Rights Act was amended to include an additional prohibited ground of discrimination known as the "criminal ground."

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines in relation to this new ground that can be found here: "Guidelines Regarding Employment of Persons with Criminal Convictions" (current as of February 23, 2011). As set out in the Guidelines:

This new ground protects persons with a criminal record from being discriminated against by potential or current employers on the basis of that record. The Act prohibits employers from imposing conditions of employment, refusing to employ, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because of a criminal conviction that is unrelated to his or her employment.2 The following information provides further detail on the intent behind this addition to the Act.