Previously, we posted here on the case of the CIBC employee who had been dismissed for using her personal account to complete a wire transfer for a client in Ogden v CIBC. The initial trial decided only that Ms. Ogden had been wrongfully dismissed and the heads of damages. The trial judge found that CIBC had conducted a flawed investigation of Ms. Ogden’s conduct and there was a lack of clarity, training and consistency in its policies and procedures.
Our colleagues in Ontario recently posted a very useful outline of an HR audit that will help BC employers ensure they stay up-to-date and on top of the wide variety of employment-related demands in their operations. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.… Continue Reading
If an employee views a confidential file contrary to clear and reasonable policy, she can be fired for cause. That was the judgment of the BC Supreme Court in Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union 2013 BCSC 527.
The Plaintiff, Ms. Steel, was a help desk analyst in the IT department of the Defendant Coast Capital Savings. In her job, she was able to access any document or file in the organization. Her work was mostly unsupervised.
Included in her job description and protocols relating to document access were clear statements requiring that privacy of staff information be … Continue Reading
The media is full of the story of a couple from Wales who were fired from their jobs after the husband helped save children from a shark attack.
It seems that the husband’s heroics generated a media stir at the time, which led to the employer back in Wales finding out the couple were vacationing in Australia when they were supposed to be on disability leave. The employer decided to terminate their employment, thus generating the current media storm.
It is possible, even likely, that there is more to the story than is currently being told, but the employer’s reported … Continue Reading
The investigator is often asked by nervous employees whether their identity and the information they give will be kept confidential. This cannot be guaranteed. Employees being interviewed should be made to understand that the information they give may be disclosed, in whole or in part, to other parties in an investigation as necessary.
It may not be necessary to share the identity of witnesses with other parties when, for … Continue Reading
Being lawyers, we usually have a quick answer to this: legal counsel. We recognize, however, that clients don’t have unlimited funds. So practically speaking, each situation will have to be assessed on its own facts.
In situations where a simple fact finding determination and assessment of credibility are all that is needed, the skilled manager can suffice, with counsel in the background to point them in the right direction and give legal advice based on any … Continue Reading
I recently had the opportunity to present a paper summarizing significant human rights decisions of 2012 at the annual BC Continuing Legal Education conference on human rights law. The conference was very well organized and featured a number of excellent topics and speakers.
In considering the case summaries I reviewed at the conference, I have the following thoughts about the state of human rights in British Columbia:
1. What is considered a human right and the kinds of activity that draw human rights protection seems ever expanding, including:
(a) persons with mild and temporary ailments and illnesses are considered disabled … Continue Reading
It’s time for another instalment in Murphy’s Laws of HR.
The first two laws were posted some time ago. #3 is posted in sympathy for those dealing with unionized employees, and to remind those with only non-union employees to count their blessings.
Murphy’s Laws of HR #3 – The union always grieves a termination:
even when the other union members say “It’s about time”; and
especially after convincing you to terminate.
The bloggers of BC Employer Advisor issued our first Month in Review to summarize our most recent posts.
Visit the summary here.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has created a new cause of action. It is now possible to sue for damages for a breach of privacy.
Tsige and Jones were employees at different branches of the Bank of Montreal. They did not know each other, but Tsige had a relationship with Jones’s ex-husband.
Tsige looked at Jones’s bank records 174 times over a four year period to see if the ex-husband was paying child support. She was able to see Jones’s bank transaction details, date of birth, marital status and address. She did not disclose or record the information. There was … Continue Reading