Tag archives: Privacy

Refresh your feed: Updated Guidance on Social Media Background Checks

Social media is ubiquitous.  Over 20 million Canadians have a social medial account. It is a major source of information about our friends and the world around us.  It is also an important vehicle for recruiting and background information. Employers will often have good reason to formally check an applicant’s social media profile in the … Continue reading

ICO updates its subject access Code of Practice

The Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK (ICO) has updated its Subject Access Code of Practice (the Code) which deals with requests from individuals for personal information. The amendments are mainly to reflect the Court of Appeal’s decisions in the recent cases of Dawson-Damer and others v Taylor Wessing LLP [2017] EWCA Civ 74 and … Continue reading

Update regarding protection against religion-based discrimination in France

In France, the issue of religious behavior in the workplace is extremely sensitive. The principle under French employment law is that while public sector employers are required to enforce a policy of strict neutrality, in private sector companies, a balance must be maintained between the principle of secularism and the prohibition of discrimination based on … Continue reading

Arbitrator Upholds Termination of Nurse for Patient Privacy Breaches

There is a growing body of arbitral jurisprudence upholding summary dismissal of employees who breached workplace codes of conduct, confidentiality and privacy policies by deliberately snooping into co-worker or client records without any legitimate purpose and for reasons of their own.  A number of these cases have concerned privacy breaches by hospital employees.  Ontario Nurses’ … Continue reading

Covert Video Surveillance Overturns Wrongful Dismissal Case

In a preliminary award, an Ontario arbitrator allowed covert video surveillance footage to be used as evidence in a wrongful dismissal grievance. The complainant, Mr. Donnelly, was one of three elementary school custodians dismissed for allegedly smoking marijuana, adjacent to school grounds during working hours. The wrongful dismissal case between Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and … Continue reading

Not all Messages Constitute #Justcause

In a time where social media is everywhere and a business’s reputation means everything, employers continue to try and understand how certain posts on social media can justify an employee’s termination in the appropriate circumstances. In  MacKinnon v Helpline Inc., the Court ruled that an employee’s private, non-confidential, off-duty communications via Facebook and MSN e-mail … Continue reading

To name or not to name, that is the question…

Surprisingly, name tag policies have become the subject of recent litigation and labour board decisions on the topic have been hitting the news. However, the resulting litigation still leaves room for debate. In the recent decision of Prairie North Health Region v Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 5111, an arbitration board in Saskatchewan held that the policy … Continue reading

Monitoring an Employee’s use of the internet

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has held that an employee’s right to respect for private life and correspondence is not breached where an employer monitors the employee’s personal communications at work, subject to reasonableness and proportionality. Whilst this has caused a large amount of media interest in the UK, employers should be aware … Continue reading

Masking the Issue: Arbitrator strikes down hospital rule that requires Nurses to wear Masks or get the Flu Shot

Can hospitals implement policies that require nurses to get a flu shot or wear a mask? An Arbitrator in Ontario says no. This has left about 30 Ontario hospitals who implemented such policies unable to enforce them. The test case involved Sault Area Hospital (“SAH”) in Sault Ste. Marie. The hospital introduced a “Vaccinate or … Continue reading

Duty of fairness extends to performance file for Government employee

A recent decision of the Federal Court has affirmed the importance of a Federal government employee’s right to procedural fairness. The dispute centred around whether an employee, in appealing his annual performance review, was entitled to see documents explaining his appraisal. The employer, a federal agenct, utilized what is often referred to as a “pay-at-risk” performance rating … Continue reading

Employer may access text messages exchanged via a professional mobile telephone

The legal context Issues regarding the ability of an employer to access messages and files exchanged by its employees using employer-supplied messaging networks or, more generally, devices placed at their disposal, occur quite frequently in the workplace and have given rise to a significant amount of case law. In principle, and from a French employment … Continue reading

Religious and other beliefs – what protection from discrimination do employees have in France?

The place of religion and other beliefs within the workplace is fairly controversial, especially in France where the principle of secularism is deeply entrenched in the society as a whole. In this context, the pivotal issue is to determine the extent to which employees can be part of a professional environment and still live in … Continue reading

Case Brief: On the rights of grievors to claim anonymity

In October 2013, an arbitrator rejected a union argument that publication of individuals’ names in an arbitral award was possible only with their consent. In Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. v. United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1518, 2013 CanLII 70673, the arbitrator held that disclosure was favoured as a general rule and that no justification … Continue reading

We filter: Crafting An affirmative defense to sexual harassment?

Many employers have implemented policies and procedures to protect employees from harassment in the electronic work space in an effort to limit liability. EEOC statistics suggest that claims of unlawful harassment through electronic communications, including emails, pornographic websites, and sexual comments on social media and blogs make up an increasing percentage of sexual harassment charges … Continue reading

ATTENTION AUX EMPLOYEURS : SURVEILLEZ VOS DÉLAIS ET VOS CAMÉRAS-VIDÉOS!

L’employeur peut-il installer des caméras-vidéos sur les lieux du travail pour des raisons opérationnelles?  Telle est la question  se posant dans l’affaire Syndicat des travailleurs de Continental Asphalte (C.S.N.). et 9163-7272 Québec inc. (division de Construction DJL inc.), AZ-51013413, rendue le 26 septembre 2013 par l’arbitre Nicolas Cliche. L’arbitre est saisi d’un grief du syndicat … Continue reading

Supreme Court of Canada Rejects Employer’s Policy on Random Alcohol Testing: Employee Privacy Trumps Workplace Safety

The Supreme Court of Canada has released an important decision on the enforceability of unilaterally imposed random alcohol testing policies in the unionized context. In a 6-3 split, a majority of the Supreme Court upheld an arbitration board’s award that determined Irving Pulp & Paper, Limited’s (“Irving”) unilaterally imposed random alcohol testing policy violated its … Continue reading
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