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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Caution – Reform ahead for Newfoundland and Labrador automobile insurance

April 18, 2019

Rodney Zdebiak and Anthony Granville On Monday, April 15, 2019, the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature passed a number of changes to the Automobile Insurance Act (“Act”) stating that the intent is to help stabilize insurance rates,…

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The Ocean Supercluster – Navigating Innovation Together

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs The Canadian government has placed itself in the “global innovation race”. In response to the demands for innovation, the Canadian government has established the Innovation Superclusters Initiative which…

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No Compass Needed – Ocean Supercluster Activities Explained

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is a co-investment initiative between Canada’s federal government and the private sector that is part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. As we wrote about in…

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Mapping Out Your Plan for a Technology Leadership Project in the Ocean Supercluster

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs As we discuss in our article, No compass needed – Ocean Supercluster activities explained, there are many ways to participate in the Ocean Supercluster and the Innovation Superclusters…

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Project Eligibility in the Ocean Supercluster – Making Sure Your Proposal Can Set Sail

April 12, 2019

Andrea Shakespeare, Kevin Landry and Matthew Jacobs Technology Leadership Projects are collaborative projects undertaken by the Ocean Supercluster led by industry members in which industry members and the Ocean Supercluster will co-invest to perform research,…

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Employer or employee: who owns social media accounts or contacts?

April 4, 2019

Grant Machum and Richard Jordan Employers carefully safeguard customer or client lists as confidential information. Gone are the days, however, where an employer’s customer list is only found in a Rolodex or in a closed…

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Paper light employment files

March 28, 2019

Grant Machum and Guy-Etienne Richard Maintaining employment files requires physical space and can be costly. Nowadays many employers are moving away from keeping paper files to electronic storage. This brings up two issues: Are employers…

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Nova Scotia announces changes to defined benefit pension funding

March 13, 2019

Level Chan and Dante Manna On March 12, 2019, the Nova Scotia legislature introduced long anticipated amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) which, according to a statement by Finance Minister Karen Casey, are aimed…

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Supreme Court rules bankrupt companies cannot walk away from their environmental liabilities in Redwater decision

March 6, 2019

Julia Parent and Graham Haynes In the long-awaited decision in the case of Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Ltd, the Supreme Court of Canada held that end-of-life environmental cleanup obligations imposed by Alberta’s provincial…

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Richards Estate sets the limits on actions against LTD insurers

March 6, 2019

Michelle Chai & Jennifer Taylor Justice Ann Smith of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently dismissed an action against a disability insurer for being out of time. The case, Richards Estate v Industrial Alliance…

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