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Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Spring 2015

The Editors’ Corner

Michelle Black and Sean Kelly

Hello! We are very pleased to be the new Atlantic Employers’ Counsel (AEC) editors. We look forward to bringing you what we hope you will find to be interesting articles and we welcome your feedback.

To celebrate our inaugural edition, we thought probationary employees was an appropriate theme. And who better to write on that topic than four of Stewart McKelvey’s up-and-coming associates (with thanks as well to articled clerk, soon-to-join-us-as-an-associate in the Labour & Employment group, Dante Manna).

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Avoiding the “long-haul” begins with the agreement

Chad Sullivan

It all starts with the agreement.

Probationary periods are a useful tool for employers assessing the suitability of new hires.

Generally, a valid agreement setting out a probationary period allows the employer to dismiss an employee during the probationary period without meeting the high threshold of just cause.

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Well, what did you expect? Setting expectations for probationary employees

Philip Milley

Hiring employees on a probationary basis allows employers to ensure they hire the right people. While implementing trial periods for new employees has many advantages, employers should be aware of key rules applying to probationary employees to avoid potential costly liability should the relationship not work out.

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Is the duty to accommodate less onerous for probationary employees? Possibly…

Timothy Bell 

A recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal considered this question in the context of an employee with Asperger’s syndrome working at a call centre but, unfortunately, did not provide a definitive answer. Although the decision suggests that the duty to accommodate can be less onerous for probationary and short service employees, the threshold for establishing undue hardship is onerous and is always judged on a case by case basis.

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How to dismiss so it’s not amiss – termination guidelines for probationary employees

Sydney Blackmore

Dismissing a short-term probationary employee can be a risky proposition, with expensive consequences if not done properly. Where just cause exists, the employee can be terminated with minimal risk that compensation will be awarded. However, in probationary employment, the decision to terminate is not always based on just cause. Instead it may be based on other considerations such as whether certain performance goals were met. This article focuses on how to terminate without just cause.

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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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