Category: Employment & Labour

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Ontario Court Rules Working Notice Wrongly Applied in Mass Termination Class Action

November 16, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Superior Court) recently granted summary judgment in favour of a class of employees who were part of a “mass termination” following a business closure. The Superior Court’s decision in Wood v. CTS of Canada Co. and CTS Corporation provides important guidance for employers when faced with a business restructuring or shutdown of operations. BACKGROUND…

Chicken Caught: Privacy Commissioner Confirms Video Surveillance Should Be Last Resort for Organizations

November 14, 2017

In the recently released Investigation Report P17-01, Use of employee surveillance by a BC chicken catching organization, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia (OIPC) confirmed that organizations should only implement video surveillance in limited circumstances where other means of resolving an issue have been ineffective. BACKGROUND A chicken catching organization (Company) decided to introduce a…

A Broader View: Court of Appeal Confirms Holistic Approach for Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in Alberta

November 13, 2017

Alberta’s highest court has clarified the parameters of the law on random drug and alcohol testing and emphasized that courts and arbitrators alike should take a holistic approach to safety when examining the enforceability of such practices. In Suncor Energy Inc. v. Unifor Local 707A, the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court of Appeal) held that an employer seeking to justify…

Cross-Border Incentive Plans: One Size Does Not Fit All

October 26, 2017

To recruit and retain highly skilled and experienced executives, companies must offer innovative and attractive compensation packages. Variable compensation is an increasingly important element of overall remuneration as businesses seek to link remuneration to performance over both the short and long term.

Doing Business in Canada

October 10, 2017

The Blakes Doing Business in Canada guide is an introductory summary of the laws and regulations that affect the conduct of business in Canada.

U.S. Immigration Solution: Canada is Open for Business

August 9, 2017

The competition for professional foreign workers continues to increase in many U.S. business sectors. In light of changing U.S. immigration laws and impending reform, however, American companies hiring foreign talent are challenged by how to efficiently and economically recruit and retain their top talent. This article originally appeared in the August 2017 issue of The American Lawyer.  

Cannabis Legalization: Ontario Seeks Public Input to Develop Provincial Laws

July 14, 2017

Ontario’s path towards cannabis regulation took another step forward on July 12, 2017, as the Ontario provincial government released a consultation paper seeking input on how the province should approach cannabis legalization. The consultation paper comes on the heels of the introduction of the federal government’s Cannabis Act in April 2017 (see our April 13, 2017 Blakes Bulletin: Federal Government…

Background Checks by Province: What Employers Need to Know

June 22, 2017

Background screening job candidates is an important part of an employer’s recruitment process. There are several different background checks that are generally permissible in Canada, but employers must tread carefully. An improperly conducted background check — or a properly conducted one where information obtained is improperly used or disclosed — can expose an employer to liability. Therefore, it is critical…

Supreme Court of Canada Rules No Discrimination for Termination of Drug-Addicted Employee

June 20, 2017

On June 15, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released its decision in Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp. (Stewart). Stewart is a welcome decision for employers looking to improve and enforce alcohol and drug policies in safety-sensitive workplaces. For related analysis regarding substance abuse in the workplace, see our May 2016 Blakes Bulletin: Suncor Clears Important Hurdle in…

Top 10 Issues for Employers, #10: Terminating an Employee for Poor Performance

June 7, 2017

This is the 10th and final instalment in our Top 10 Issues for Employers series. This instalment addresses terminating an employee for poor performance. OVERVIEW Under Canadian law, employers may unilaterally and immediately end an employment relationship without notice only if they have a valid reason — or “just cause” — for doing so. Absent just cause, employers must provide…

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