Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Summer 2014

The Editor’s Corner

Clarence Bennett

Summer is halfway over, but we know you will want to take this edition along with you while you enjoy more summer weather and time out of the office.

Employers are struggling to keep ahead of the curve with the recent rise of legislated and expanded common law rights to privacy. This edition focuses on understanding the privacy legal landscape in Atlantic Canada, discusses some very recent privacy and disciplinary decisions employers should be aware of, provides informative tips for ensuring that your workplace is as privacy proof as possible and points out the hazards of social media when it comes to workplace privacy.

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Privacy: what laws apply in Atlantic Canada?
Ian Wallace

With increasing digitalization and the potential harm resulting from violations of an individual’s privacy or unauthorized disclosure of one’s personal information, employers must remain diligent in efforts to collect, retain and disclose personal information and promote a culture of respect regarding the privacy of their employees.

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Preparing for the office snoop: protect employee privacy and limit your liability
Murray Murphy, QC, CHRP 

Advances in technology have brought privacy issues to the forefront of Canadian society, and the workplace is no exception. Employers need to consider privacy and confidentiality for not only their customers, but also their employees.

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Tips on what your confidential information policies must have
Grant Machum and Alison Strachan

Confidentiality at work has become increasingly important and the employee’s responsibility to keep private and confidential information is just that, private and confidential. Questions from employers about what must go into this type of policy have become routine, mainly due to the global nature of communications today and how easily information can be circulated and accessed.

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Employee privacy breaches – do they warrant discipline?
Richard Petrie

In 2012 the Ontario Court of Appeal first established the tort of intrusion upon seclusion to Canadian law in . Relying on Jones v Tsige Apart from the obvious impact of this case on those who are the victims of a privacy breach, the case has raised interesting questions in the field of labour and employment law. Namely, it places strong pressure on an employer to ensure prompt and sufficient discipline against employees who breach privacy rules in an effort to mitigate potential tort claims.

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The impact of social media on privacy: why you need a social media policy
Clarence Bennett and Alison F. Strachan 

One of the first social media confidentiality cases arose out of a health care employment relationship. In CAW-Canada, Local 127 (J.C.) v. Chatham-Kent (Municipality), [2007] OLAA No. 135 (QL), the grievor was a personal caregiver with eight years service and some history of discipline. She was discharged after making a number of blog entries and posting photos.

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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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