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Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Fall 2015

THE EDITORS’ CORNER

Michelle Black and Sean Kelly

Trick, Treat or … Taunt? Workplace Bullying and Harassment

Fall has arrived! The leaves are changing colours, families are stockpiling Halloween candy (some of which will actually last long enough to be distributed on the 31st), and warm knitwear is being dragged back out of the closet. But what is happening at your workplace? Are all of your employees “playing nice” with each other or do you have some ghouls in the group?

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BULLYING ISN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE: ACTUALLY, IT NEVER REALLY WAS…

Ellen Oakes Thompson

The recognition that bullying occurs far beyond the playground is now so widespread that an entire episode of The Simpsons was dedicated to the topic earlier this year. However, despite the recognition of its occurrence, even the most seasoned human resources professionals often still shy away from dealing with serious interpersonal conflicts between coworkers or between superiors and subordinates.

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WHEN HARASSMENT IS NOT HARASSMENT

Stephen Carpenter, CHRP and Patti Wheatley

There is more and more discussion today about harassment and bullying in the workplace. This has led to assertions of harassment and bullying in situations even where the claims are unwarranted. Discipline is one of the most frequent areas where we see claims of harassment from employees – employees claim that they are being harassed but managers feel they are simply doing their job.

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TOP 10 CONSIDERATIONS FOR WORKPLACE (AND THEREABOUTS) SEXUAL MISCONDUCT

Twila Reid

Over the past year Jian Ghomeshi went from being the “King of Spain” to eating “Humble Pie” (if you are too young/old to know what this is referring to, search Moxie Früvous). Whether it’s the CBC or Bill Cosby, issues of sexual misconduct have been dominating the headlines. Even off-duty conduct is up for scrutiny – consider the worker who yells “FHRITP” to a reporter during a live broadcast or heckles a female comedian off the stage during a work party.

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FALSE/UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS: WHAT ABOUT THE UNSUBSTANTIATED COMPLAINTS?

Rick Dunlop

As long as there are harassment and respectful workplace policies that provide employees an opportunity to file complaints against their fellow employees, there will be, periodically, false or unfounded allegations. Employers can put themselves in a better position to avoid the liability associated with such false or unfounded allegations if they abide by the following:

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Changes affecting federally regulated employers

June 10, 2024

By Killian McParland and Sophie Poulos There have been many changes in recent months affecting employers governed by federal labour and employment laws. In September 2024, Stewart McKelvey will be hosting a webinar to review…

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Impending changes to Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Act – Gradual onset stress

June 4, 2024

By Mark Tector and Annie Gray What’s changing? Currently, workers’ compensation coverage in Nova Scotia applies to only a narrow subset of psychological injuries. Specifically, in Nova Scotia – as in all Atlantic Provinces –…

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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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