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"Social Media: Opportunities and Limitations in the Workplace"

"Social Media: Opportunities and Limitations in the Workplace" (December 19, 2010) is the title of a recent paper by Carman J. Overholt, Q.C. and Emily Pitcher. Mr Overholt is a lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain in Vancouver and Ms. Pitcher is a student at law. 

Facebook postings about employer that were offensive, insulting, disrespectful provided cause for termination

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a decision issued on October 25, 2010, the BC Labour Relations Board ruled that the employer had just cause to terminate the employment of two employees because of their offensive, insulting, disrespectful and damaging Facebook postings about the employer.

The decision is Lougheed Imports Ltd. operating West Coast Mazda doing business as West Coast Detail & Accessory Centre -and- United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 1518, BCLRB No. B190/2010.

As the Board stated in the decision:  read more »

"On-line Social Networking Forums: (Un)Welcome to the Workplace"

"On-line Social Networking Forums: (Un)Welcome to the Workplace" (2010) is the title of a paper written by three lawyers at Gowlings - Melanie Polowin, Bettina Burgess, and Laurence Bourgeois-Hatto.

The paper reviews, "the legal and practical issues and provides recommendations for the three main areas where on-line social networking forums impact the modern workplace:

  1. when used as a tool for recruitment;
  2. when used as a tool for marketing/selling; and
  3. when social networking becomes social notworking, or is otherwise harmful to the employer."

"Individual's 'Private' Social Networking Sites Are Not Exactly Private, New York Court Rules"

Jurisdiction: - United States

An "Individual's 'Private' Social Networking Sites Are Not Exactly Private, New York Court Rules". That is the title of a case summary published by Jackson Lewis, a US labour and employment law firm.

The case is Romano v. Steelcase, Inc., __ Misc. 2d. __, 2010 NY Slip Op. 20388 (Sup. Ct., Suffolk County 2010). According to the summary, in a lawsuit for personal injuries, a New York court determined that information designated as “private” on a plaintiff’s Facebook and MySpace pages could be accessed by the defendants in pre-trial discovery.

New Brunswick court quashes arbitrators' ruling that random alcohol testing policy at mill was unreasonable

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick
Sector: - Forestry

On judicial review. the New Brunswick Queens Bench court has quashed an arbitration board's ruling concerning the reasonableness of a worklace random alcohol testing policy.

In a decision issued November 16, 2009, the majority of the arbitration board had ruled that the policy was not reasonable and thus not enforceable.

The court's decision - which was issued on September 20, 2010 - has not yet been posted to publically accessible database. 

However, Toronto lawyer Dan Michaluk has been able to get his hands on the decision and has posted it on his "All About Information" blog:

Irving Pulp  & Paper, Limited v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30, 2010 NBQB 294

BC arbitrator addresses whether existing employees can be required to submit to periodic criminal record checks

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Public Safety

In the May 14, 2010 labour arbitration decision in Vancouver (City) v. Vancouver Firefighters' Union, Local 18 (Police Records Checks Grievance), [2010] B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 81, a BC arbitrator addressed whether an employer could introduce a policy that would require unionized employees in certain designated positions to submit to updated criminal record checks every five years.

Jennifer Roper, at Roper Greyell in Vancouver, has written an article about this decision ("Can Employees be Required to Submit to Criminal Record Checks?") for the firm's September 2010 newsletter.  read more »

"Background Check Program a Reasonable Exercise of Management Rights"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Hadiya Roderique, a lawyer at Fasken Martineau in Ontario, has written a bulletin entitled "Background Check Program a Reasonable Exercise of Management Rights" (August 4, 2010).

The bulletin provides a case summary of the decision of Arbitrator Watters in Re Diageo Canada Inc. and C.A.W.-Canada, Local 2098 (January 20 2010).

"Arbitral Jurisdiction over Tortious Privacy Violations"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

"Arbitral Jurisdiction over Tortious Privacy Violations" (June 18, 2010) is the title of the paper that Pamela R. Costanzo and Stephanie T. Mayor, of Black Gropper in Vancouver, presented at the Labour Relations Conference - 2010.

The conference was put on by the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. The paper:

...examines whether an arbitrator appointed under the Labour Relations
would have jurisdiction to apply the BC Privacy Act, or award a remedy
under it. It examines the historical development of the arbitral jurisprudence
on breach of privacy. It also considers whether a common law tort of breach of
privacy exists, and what alternative torts, and remedies, are available to
plaintiffs who have experienced a breach of privacy in the context of

"PIPA Conference 2010" scheduled for Calgary on November 2 & 3, 2010

Topics: - Conferences - Privacy
Jurisdiction: - Alberta - British Columbia

The 5th annual “PIPA Conference" will be held on November 2nd & 3rd, 2010 at the
Hotel Arts in Calgary, Alberta. The conference - aimed at assisting organizations in BC and Alberta be privacy compliant  - is now in its fifth year. Last year's conference was held in Vancouver.

The title of this year's conference is "PIPA Conference 2010: Getting through the Privacy Jungle - How to see the Forest and the Trees”. The conference agenda is as follows:  read more »