Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Spring 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’ Counselwe 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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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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