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Workplace Policies

When can breach of company policy amount to just cause for dismissal?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Poirier v. Wal-Mart Canada Corp. 2006 BCSC 1138, the court noted that in order for breach of company policy to constitute just cause, the following requirements must be satisfied:

  1. it has been distributed to employees;
  2. it is known to the employee affected;
  3. it is unambiguous;
  4. it is consistently enforced by the company;
  5. employees are warned that they will be dismissed should they breach the rule or policy;
  6. it is reasonable; and,
  7. the breach thereof is sufficiently serious to justify dismissal.

"Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance"

Christopher McHardy, Tina Giesbrecht and Peter Brady - lawyers at McCarthy Tetrault - have prepared a paper on"Workplace Monitoring and Surveillance" (March 11, 2005).

The paper's introduction states:

In the last decade, new technologies in the workplace have changed the way we do work and the way we manage employees. Beyond the production and cost benefits, these technologies have both increased employer risks relating to employee misconduct and improved employer tools to manage and address such misconduct.The increased risks and improved tools have resulted in increased use of surveillance and monitoring and an increase in the tension between management rights and employee privacy. The introduction of privacy legislation in Canada has further increased this tension. This paper looks at the way in which new privacy legislation is influencing the way courts and arbitrators are balancing the right of employers to know and manage versus privacy rights employees may have in the workplace.

The employee's duty of fidelity and good faith

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a recent case - Axiom Services Ltd. v. Weigert, 2005 BCSC 145 - the B.C. Supreme Court discussed an employee's duty of fidelity and good faith, both during the employment relationship and after, in relation to clients and client lists. The court noted that:  read more »