What Is Administrative Law?

I am quite frequently asked this question. Administrative law is the body of law that governs administrative agencies. Administrative agencies are involved in virtually every aspect of our lives.  Examples include agencies that regulate food and drug products, securities commissions, local building and development and zoning agencies, liquor control boards, self-governing professional bodies, privacy commissioners, employment insurance, human rights tribunals and workers’ compensation boards. Administrative agencies relieve the burden on our courts.  At least in theory, they may also provide
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Do Employees Have A Right to View Their Personnel Files?

Does an employee have a right to see his or her own personnel file, without first obtaining the employer’s approval? If you are an employer, and an employee demands to see his or her personnel file, must you oblige? In B.C., Alberta and federally, subject to certain exceptions, an employee is able to view his or her own personnel file. The employee need not obtain anyone’s approval to request access to his or her file. However, the employer may need
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What’s age got to do with it?

Is age relevant in dismissals? Under Canadian common law, an employer is able to dismiss a non-unionized employee in only one of two ways. One is with just cause. This is generally difficult, though not impossible, for an employer to establish. The second is without just cause, as long as the employee is given “reasonable notice” of the dismissal. The concept behind the reasonable notice period is that employees ought to be given advance notice of their job ending, to
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Family Status Discrimination in Employment in BC

In a recent decision in Envirocon Environmental Services, ULC v. Suen, the BC Court of Appeal confirmed that in order to establish discrimination in employment on the basis of family status, a human rights complainant must show: (1)    a change in a term or condition of employment imposed by the employer; and (2)    the change resulted in a serious interference with a substantial parental or other family duty or obligation of the employee. This confirms the approach previously set out
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Employment Discrimination Against Caucasians in B.C.

A recent B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case involved a twist, in which Caucasian employees claimed their Asian boss had discriminated against them at work. This was a reversal of the more common situation where discrimination is alleged against a member of a historically disadvantaged group. The problems arose after a change in ownership at the Spruce Hill Resort and Spa, in the Caribou region of B.C. Mr. Chan, the new owner of the resort, was overseeing major renovations at the
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New Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, B.C.

Bill 48, the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, B.C. (the “Act”) has received royal assent.  While these provisions will not come into effect until the government issues additional regulations, recruiters and employers of temporary foreign workers will need to become familiar with these changes. The intention of the Act is to provide greater protection to temporary foreign workers.  It will require individual foreign worker recruiters to be licensed, and prospective employers of temporary foreign workers to hold a certificate of
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