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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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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