Category: Raising the Bar

Human Rights Tribunal: A Schrenk Explainer

In March 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments in a case that raises very important issues as to who is entitled to protections against harassment and discrimination in the workplace and in what workplace settings and employment-related relationships.

Burger King Dealt a Whopper by BC Courts: Fired Fish Sandwich Felon Vindicated

B.C judge awards $46,000 to Burger King cook fired for taking fish sandwich without paying. Here’s why this employer did not have just cause to terminate for theft.

Two Wrongs Might Make a Copyright: Employees vs. Contractors with Intellectual Property on the Line

It is important to be aware of the protections of the Copyright Act when contracting for services related to the design or creation of works that might fall under its purview, the breadth of which might be surprising. For example, copyright can subsist in artistic works (including paintings, drawings, sculptures and even maps), movies, books, sound recordings, broadcasts and beyond. Copyright can even subsist in software code, among other things.

Non-Culpable or Innocent Absenteeism

In a recent decision, an arbitrator upheld a grievor’s dismissal for non-culpable or innocent absenteeism because he failed to show he could attend work regularly in the foreseeable future and the accommodation process was exhausted.

Revisiting the 2016 Changes to the BC Human Rights Code

HRMA Conference + Tradeshow 2017 speaker Nicole Byres provides commentary on the recent amendments to the BC Human Rights Code to include “gender identity or expression” among the protected grounds covered by the Code.

Just How Private is an Employee’s Text Messaging?

Information and evidence obtained from social media or electronic communications is playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, but employers must be conscious of employee privacy rights. As a result, the Ontario Court of Appeal’s recent decision regarding whether there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in sent text messages is of particular interest to employers.

Arbitration Board: Regular Medical Marijuana User Wrongfully Held Out Of Safety-Sensitive Position

Most people would be concerned if a person operating heavy road maintenance equipment in a large city was also a regular medical marijuana consumer, entitled by permit to consume a significant amount of marijuana on a daily basis. In responding to this concern, a large municipal employer removed a long service employee from the workplace, citing concerns over public safety. The employee challenged the removal, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability.

26 Months’ Notice for (In)Dependent Contractors

A decision from Ontario highlights the caution that companies need to employ when characterizing those who provide services to them as “contractors.”