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Pornography

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)

"Is Excessive Internet Use Time Theft?"

"Is Excessive Internet Use Time Theft?" (May 16, 2012) is the subject of the latest HR Space bulletin from law firm Faskens. It was written by Hadiya J. Roderique.

The bulletin discusses a labour arbitration award and a decision of the Public Service Labour Relations Board, that were both issued in late 2011:

  1. Andrews v. Deputy Head (Department of Citizenship and Immigration)  2011 PSLRB 100  (August 2011); and
  2. Health Sciences Association of British Columbia v. Health Employers' Association of British Columbia  [2011] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 125 (Glass) 

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 »

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 »

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 »

NBCA upholds dismissal for cause where supervisor repeatedly viewed pornography on work computer

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Backman v. Maritime Paper Products Limited, a body corporate, 2009 NBCA 6, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal upheld the dismissal for just cause of a supervisory employee who repeatedly viewed internet pornography on his work computer. In doing so, the court reveiwed the law relating to the doctrine of condonation.

Background

At the time of his dismissal, the supervisory employee had 14 years of service and was earning a salary of $53,000 per year.

The employer had implemented an "Acceptable Use Policy" in 2002 relating to email and internet use. It prohibited the viewing of unprofessional, harassing, offensive or obscene material on company equipment. 

The employee had received written warnings in 2002 and 2003 for accessing pornographic websites. The second warning stated in clear language that any further incidents "will result in the immediate termination of your employment".  read more »

"Ontario Employers Covered by New Child Pornography Reporting Law"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Davis LLP has published a briefing note - "Ontario Employers Covered by New Child Pornography Reporting Law  on Bill 37" - which will amend the Child and Family Services Act (Ontario) and will "impose a positive obligation on any person in Ontario,
including employers and employees, to report child pornography".