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US National Labor Relations Board: Northwestern U scholarship football players are employees, can unionize

Jurisdiction: - United States
Sector: - Education

The US National Labor Relations Board (N.L.R.B.) ruled today that Northwestern University scholarship football players are employees and therefore can unionize and bargain collectively. The ruling was contained in a 24-page decision issued by Peter Ohr, a
regional director of the N.L.R.B. 

The university has posted the following statement on its website in response to the ruling:

Statement by Alan K. Cubbage, Vice President for University Relations, in Regard to Decision by NLRB Regional Director

March 26, 2014 | by Alan K. Cubbage

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University is disappointed by today's ruling by the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board finding that Northwestern University's football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees and directing that a secret ballot election be held to determine whether the football players should be represented by the College Athletes Players Association for purposes of collective bargaining with Northwestern University.  read more »

Clause that required veterinarian to pay former employer if she set up practice in same area enforceable

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Rhebergen v. Creston Veterinary Clinic Ltd., 2014 BCCA 97, the majority of the BC Court of Appeal ruled that a non-compete type clause in an employment agreement that required a veterinarian to pay her former employer prescribed amounts if she set up her own practice in the same area within a three year total period, was enforceable.

The headnote / summary of the case is as follows:  read more »

BC introduces bill to amend new Pension Benefits Standards Act

Topics: - Pensions
Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Government issued the following news release yesterday (February 19, 2014):

VICTORIA - Amendments to the new Pension Benefits Standard Act clarify elements of the original act and help ensure the legislation will be ready for proclamation later this year, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

Today's amendments are primarily technical corrections, including:  read more »

Alberta Privacy Commissioner pens letter regarding how to make Alberta PIPA constitutionally compliant

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

In Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, 2013 SCC 62, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") violated section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and could not be saved under section 1 of the Charter. See my full entry on this cae here: "SCC rules that AB PIPA violates freedom of expression in the labour relations context; PIPA struck down".

In a letter that was published on January 14, 2014, the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner has now advised the Alberta government on what changes she thinks should be made to the Alberta PIPA to allow it to be constitutionally compliant. The letter, dated December 20, 2013, can be found here.

"To Pay Vacation Pay, Or Not Pay Vacation Pay: That Is The Question "

Two lawyers at McMillan - Paul Boshyk and George Waggott - have written an article for the firm's January 2014 labour and employment bulletin, "To Pay Vacation Pay, Or Not Pay Vacation Pay: That Is The Question".

The article addresses the obligation to compensate a dismissed employee for vacation pay over the notice period. The authors focus on the following Ontario cases:

  • Cronk v Canadian General Insurance Co., (1995), 25 OR (3d) 505 (ONCA) 
  • Garvin v Rockwell International of Canada Ltd., 1993 CarswellOnt 966 (Ct J (GD)) 
  • Emery v Royal Oak Mines Inc., 1995 CarswellOnt 456 (Ct J (GD))

Study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace released

Topics: - Sexual Harassment
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women has released its study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace: A Study on Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace".

The summary of the study is as follows:  read more »