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
Read More

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
Read More

Privacy Rights In Shared Computers

In R. v. Reeves, the Supreme Court of Canada recently considered the extent of a person’s privacy rights in a shared computer.  This was a criminal case that centered on whether the police had properly seized the shared computer. Mr. Reeves shared a home with his common law spouse. Following domestic assault charges against him, a no contact order was issued. It prohibited him from visiting the home without his spouse’s consent. When the spouse contacted Mr. Reeves’ probation officer
Read More

The Feds & SNC-Lavalin: Taxpayers Beware

Just when it seems that the scandal currently plaguing the federal government could not get much worse, the federal government may have another trick up its sleeve. First, some background. The federal government’s procurement website states that “in 2015, we introduced a regime to ensure the government does business only with ethical suppliers….” Federal procurement policies include an Integrity Regime to “help foster ethical business practices, ensure due process and uphold the public trust. It is transparent and rigorous and
Read More

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
Read More

Solicitor Client Privilege & DPAs: Mum’s the Word

On September 19, 2018, amendments to the Criminal Code came into force establishing Deferred Prosecution Agreements (DPAs), for the first time in Canada. They had at that time escaped the radar, slipped into an omnibus bill, labeled “remediation agreements.” DPAs have been described as a type of plea bargain for corporations facing potential criminal prosecution, though admittedly on a much larger scale than exists for individuals. Others point out that a DPA is not a plea bargain at all, but
Read More