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Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Summer 2014

The Editor’s Corner

Clarence Bennett

Summer is halfway over, but we know you will want to take this edition along with you while you enjoy more summer weather and time out of the office.

Employers are struggling to keep ahead of the curve with the recent rise of legislated and expanded common law rights to privacy. This edition focuses on understanding the privacy legal landscape in Atlantic Canada, discusses some very recent privacy and disciplinary decisions employers should be aware of, provides informative tips for ensuring that your workplace is as privacy proof as possible and points out the hazards of social media when it comes to workplace privacy.

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Privacy: what laws apply in Atlantic Canada?
Ian Wallace

With increasing digitalization and the potential harm resulting from violations of an individual’s privacy or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal information, employers must remain diligent in efforts to collect, retain and disclose personal information and promote a culture of respect regarding the privacy of their employees.

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Preparing for the office snoop: protect employee privacy and limit your liability
Murray Murphy, QC, CHRP 

Advances in technology have brought privacy issues to the forefront of Canadian society, and the workplace is no exception. Employers need to consider privacy and confidentiality for not only their customers, but also their employees.

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Tips on what your confidential information policies must have
Grant Machum and Alison Strachan

Confidentiality at work has become increasingly important and the employee’s responsibility to keep private and confidential information is just that, private and confidential. Questions from employers about what must go into this type of policy have become routine, mainly due to the global nature of communications today and how easily information can be circulated and accessed.

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Employee privacy breaches – do they warrant discipline?
Richard Petrie

In 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal first established the tort of intrusion upon seclusion to Canadian law in . Relying on Jones v Tsige Apart from the obvious impact of this case on those who are the victims of a privacy breach, the case has raised interesting questions in the field of labour and employment law. Namely, it places strong pressure on an employer to ensure prompt and sufficient discipline against employees who breach privacy rules in an effort to mitigate potential tort claims.

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The impact of social media on privacy: why you need a social media policy
Clarence Bennett and Alison F. Strachan 

One of the first social media confidentiality cases arose out of a health care employment relationship. In CAW-Canada, Local 127 (J.C.) v. Chatham-Kent (Municipality), [2007] OLAA No. 135 (QL), the grievor was a personal caregiver with eight years service and some history of discipline. She was discharged after making a number of blog entries and posting photos.

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Appeal Courts uphold substantial costs awards for regulators

May 22, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Michiko Gartshore Professional regulators can incur substantial costs through discipline processes. These costs are often associated with investigations, hearings as well as committee member expenses and are an unfortunate by-product of…

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Less than two weeks to go … Canada Supply Chain Transparency Reports are due May 31st

May 21, 2024

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Sheila Mecking, Hilary Newman, and Daniel Roth Introduction The first reports under the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (the…

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Court upheld municipality’s refusal to disclose investigation report

May 1, 2024

By Sheila Mecking and Sarah Dever Letson A recent decision out of the Court of King’s Bench of New Brunswick,[1] upheld the Municipality of Tantramar’s decision to withhold a Workplace Assessment Report under section 20(1)…

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Occupational Health and Safety sentencing decision – Nova Scotia

April 29, 2024

By Sean Kelly & Tiegan Scott Earlier this month, the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia issued its sentencing decision in R v The Brick Warehouse LP, 2024 NSPC 26, imposing a monetary penalty of $143,750 (i.e.,…

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Canada 2024 Federal Budget paves the way for Open Banking

April 22, 2024

By Kevin Landry On April 15, 2024, the Canadian federal budget was released. Connected to the budget was an explanation of the framework for Canada’s proposed implementation of Open Banking (sometimes called consumer-driven banking). This follows…

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Reset for renewables: Nova Scotia overhauls energy regulation and governance in advance of influx of renewable energy

April 5, 2024

By Nancy Rubin and James Gamblin The Government of Nova Scotia has embarked on a path to dramatically reshape the regulation and governance of the energy sector with the passage of Bill 404, the Energy…

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An employer’s guide to human rights law in Atlantic Canada

April 2, 2024

By Kathleen Starke and Annie Gray Human rights landscape Human rights legislation prohibits discrimination in specific contexts, including employment and the provision of services. In all Atlantic Provinces, Human Rights Commissions are responsible for enforcing…

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Recognizing subtle discrimination in the workplace: insights from recent legal cases

March 4, 2024

By Sheila Mecking and Michiko Gartshore Subtle discrimination can have a much stronger and longer effect on employees when not properly addressed. It can also result in costly consequences for an employer who does not…

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Immediate changes to travel eligibility for citizens of Mexico

February 29, 2024

By Brittany Trafford and Brendan Sheridan Today Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) has announced significant changes to the travel requirements for Mexican citizens. As of February 29, 2024 at 11:30p.m. Eastern Time, all electronic…

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Updated guidance on business reporting obligations under Canada’s supply chain transparency legislation

February 23, 2024

By Christine Pound, ICD.D., Twila Reid, ICD.D., Sarah Dever Letson, CIPP/C, Hilary Newman and Daniel Roth Introduction As we reported on November 30, 2023, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains…

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