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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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Compensation for expropriation: Fair, but not more than fair

June 17, 2024

By Erin Best, Stephen Penney, Robert Bradley, Megan Kieley1 and Elizabeth Fleet1 Expropriation is a live issue in Canadian courts. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to broaden the test for constructive expropriation in Annapolis…

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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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