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Topical Articles

"Intellectual Property Ownership – An Employer’s Perspective"

The law firm of Sisson Warren Sinclair LLP in Red Deer, Alberta have prepared a brochure on "Intellectual Property Ownership - An Employer's Perspective" (undated). Among other subjects, the brochure addresses copyright and patents, and employment contracts and technology agreements.

More on discrimination based on "family status"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Law firm Fasken Martineau issued an e-bulletin today entitled "Employee's Family Obligations: To what Extent must they be Accommodated?". It offers some practical advice for employers to follow when confronted with this murky area of law that is still in its early stages of development.

I have previously written posts on discrimination based on family status - including on the same case discussed by Faskens - that can be found here and here.  read more »

"Monitoring employee e-mail: a privacy primer"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Manitoba

Lawyer Brian Bowman and articling student Andrew Buck, at Pitblado LLP in Winnipeg, prepared "Monitoring employee e-mail: a privacy primer" for the December 2009 CBA National Privacy and Access Law Section Newsletter. The article focuses largely on the  federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

"The economic downturn and changes in the Employment Insurance benefits program "

Published in Labour and Employment Law Perspective: The CBA National Labour and Employment Law Section Newsletter (January 2010)

One of the most high profile responses by the federal government to the economic downturn that commenced in October 2008 was a series of reforms to the Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits program that were announced as part of the 2009 federal budget.1

This article outlines the context in which the EI reforms were announced, then provides a brief overview of the reforms and concludes with a more detailed review of three of the reforms that will be of interest to the employer and self-employed communities.

The political, labour market and jurisprudence backdrop   

The EI reforms were announced in January 2009 in a highly charged federal political environment, as the opposition parties were threatening to topple the minority Conservative government if it did not take action in relation to the EI benefits program.  read more »

"Is Wallace Dead? The Keays to the Mystery Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Revisited"

Two lawyers at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP in Toronto have co-authored a paper entitled "Is Wallace Dead? The Keays to the Mystery Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Revisited" (2009). It addresses the following cases:

  1. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia,
  2. Wallace, v. United Grain Growers Ltd.,
  3. Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays, and
  4. the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's decision in Piresferreira v. Ayotte and Bell Mobility Inc.

"The Wrongful Dismissal Manual"

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has published "The Wrongful Dismissal Manual" (October 2009), which is "designed to provide employers with guidance on the general statutoryand common law principles applicable whenever an employee's employment is terminated in Canada's four main business jurisdictions: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec."

"From Independent Contractor to Employee"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

Megan Wright (now Megan Burkett) at Keyser Mason Ball in Ontario, has written an article entitled, "From Independent Contractor to Employee"(undated).

The paper addresses the question: at what point does an independent contractor become an employee? 

Ms. Wright notes that a non-exhaastive list of questions that are asked when examining this issue are:

  1. Does the company control the contractor's activities?
  2. Does the company provide equipment to the contractor?
  3. Does the company assume all the risk in the projects with the contractor?
  4. Does the contractor maintain an office at the company and only works out of such office?
  5. Does the contractor participate in the company benefit plans?
  6. Does the company reimburse the contractor for expenses?
  7. Does the contractor work during hours specified by the company?

"Overview of insolvency proceedings in Canada"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Law firm McMillan LLP has prepared a comprehensive "Overview of insolvency proceedings in Canada" (October 2009). It outlines the Canadian legislative framework and briefly describes the receivership process, the bankruptcy regime and the formal restructuring alternatives available to debtors. The three key statutes it addresses are:

  • the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act,
  • the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, and
  • the Winding-up and Restructuring Act.