: Atlantic Employers' Counsel - Spring 2013

May 22, 2013

Editor's comment

This edition of Atlantic Employers' Counsel focuses on key areas of employment standards in Atlantic Canada. Employment standards legislation outlines the rights and obligations of employees and requirements that apply to employers in most workplaces. However, employment standards legislation doesn't apply to certain individuals and persons or organizations. For example, employees in sectors that fall under federal jurisdiction, such as airlines, banks and the civil service have other legislation covering their workplaces. Knowing what the minimum standards are in each province is key to developing (or reviewing) policies and dealing with workplace terminations or requests for leaves of absence. Often called the "floor" of employment rights, employment standards are also used as a benchmark when negotiating collective agreements and workplace policies. This edition focuses on a select handful of employment standard obligations. Readers should be aware that the following articles are general in nature and not intended to cover every nuance with respect to employment standards.

How many weeks was that?

We've said it before and we'll say it again: the best way to avoid litigation when terminating an employee is to agree on what it will take to terminate an employee BEFORE they start work. In our last Atlantic Employers' Counsel we reviewed top just cause issues (i.e., theft, dishonesty, sexual harassment, etc.) and, as you know from reading those articles, if there's just cause, an employee isn't entitled to reasonable notice.

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Trains, planes and automobiles: Vacation in Atlantic Canada

As spring arrives and summer looms, employees will soon begin to contemplate cashing in on their annual vacation allowances. As an employer, it's important to be aware of the minimum vacation entitlements in your province.

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Home for the holidays: Rules are not the same in each Atlantic Province

It's important to be aware which holidays apply to your employees. Different holidays are recognized across Atlantic Canada.

Most holidays apply to all four Atlantic Provinces, those include: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Canada Day, Labour Day, Remembrance Day and Christmas Day, although, in Nova Scotia there are industry exemptions that may apply to Remembrance Day.

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Working overtime in Atlantic Canada

Employment lawyers across Canada can thank Randy Bachman and two recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions if the tune "Taking Care of Business" is their latest earworm. Why? Read the CBC article, Bank Overtime Lawsuits. The time is ripe to review provincial employment standards as they relate to overtime in Atlantic Canada.

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Sick, bereavement and jury leaves: We don't want to confuse you, but...

As you can see from most of the articles in this edition, employment standards legislation in Atlantic Canada is far from uniform. Perhaps most so when it comes to dealing with short term leaves of absences. The following tells that story.

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