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Workplace Policies

CP Railway CEO says company will challenge arbitrator’s order to reinstate "cocaine-using" locomotive engineer

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

Here's an interesting news release that Canadian Pacific Railway Limited issued on July 16, 2014 concerning an arbitrator's decision to order an employee re-instated:

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX/NYSE: CP) announced today it will be asking the Superior Court of Quebec to stay a July 14, 2014 decision by the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration (CROA), which ruled a locomotive engineer, who consumed cocaine at a time and of a quantity which could impact his duties, must be reinstated.

CP also announced it will be appealing the agency's order to the Superior Court of Quebec asking it to overturn the decision.  read more »

Single incident of violent and threatening behaviour towards supervisor supported just cause termination

Jurisdiction: - Northwest Territories

In I & D Management Services Ltd v Mercredi, 2013 CanLII 89793 (NWT LSB), the Northwest Territories - Labour Standards Board determined that an employee's single incident of violent and threatening behaviour towards a supervisor supported just cause termination.

Specifically, the NWT LSB stated as follows:

Both parties to the dispute agreed that an altercation occurred.  The dispute was not directly related to work issues, but was about the relative merits of treatment centres and other personal issues.  All witnesses to the incident stated that Mr. Mercredi pushed Mr. Kerfont three times.  In his February 14, 2012 statement, Mr. Turcotte stated that Mr. Mercredi threw "a bottle of water at Ray hard".  In a statement made on the same day, Mr. Deforrest stated that Mr. Mercredi threw a cup of coffee at Mr. Kerfont.  read more »

WorkSafeBC approves 3 new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies to be effective November 1, 2013

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

WorkSafeBC has recently added the following announcement to its website:

At its March 2013 meeting, WorkSafeBC's Board of  Directors approved three new OHS workplace bullying and harassment policies:

  • Employer Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-115-2
  • Worker Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-116-1
  • Supervisor Duties - Workplace Bullying and Harassment - D3-117-2

The Board of Directors' resolution is available for reference.

Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Workers Compensation Act set out the general duties of employers, workers, and supervisors respectively. The new policies have been developed to clarify the obligations of employers, workers, and supervisors regarding preventing, where possible, or otherwise minimizing workplace bullying and harassment.  read more »

Ontario court urges "business transaction" exemption be added to PIPEDA, grants order for disclosure

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - Ontario

In the Matter of an Application Under Rules 14.05(3)(d), 2012 ONSC 2530, a decision issued on April 26, 2012, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted an order allowing the vendor financial institution to disclose personal information to the purchaser, pursuant to an asset purchase transaction.

In doing so, the court urged, effectively, for the implementation of "business transaction" provisions such as those found in the BC and Alberta PIPAs, stating:

It is evident from this long list of cases that Farley J. was prescient in suggesting that "this type of situation should be addressed to avoid unnecessary court applications."  I join Farley J. in urging that a route be provided that will permit the disclosure of the necessary personal information in such circumstances as these to avoid wasting the court's time and the parties' funds (at para. 12).  read more »

Second social media report issued by US National Labour Relations Board's Acting General Counsel

Jurisdiction: - United States

Back in January 2012, the US National Labour Relations Board Acting General Counsel released a second report describing 14 social media cases reviewed by his office.

Here's the entire news release, with a link to the report (and the one that preceded it):

To help provide further guidance to practitioners and human resource professionals, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has released a second report describing social media cases reviewed by his office.

The Operations Management Memo covers 14 cases, half of which involve questions about employer social media policies. Five of those policies were found to be unlawfully broad, one was lawful, and one was found to be lawful after it was revised.  read more »

"10 Tips to Deal with Employee Discipline for Social Media Use"

Jack Graham and Lana Rafuse at McInnes Cooper have written a legal update for the law firm's newsletter titled, "10 Tips to Deal with Employee Discipline for Social Media Use" (March 1, 2012).

The tips are designed to assist employers in "drawing the line" on social media use and thus be in a position to discipline employees who go over the line. Taken directly from the article, their tips are:  read more »