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British Columbia Employer Advisor Keeping Employers Posted on Developments in Labour and Employment Law

Category Archives: Employment Standards

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Proposed Employment Law Reform in Ontario

Bill 146 Worth Watching

Posted in Employment Standards, Immigration, Investigations, Litigation, Occupational Health and Safety, Unions, Wage and Hours, Workers Compensation

The Ontario government has introduced a bill to make significant changes to employment law in that province.  Every BC employer with employees in Ontario should follow the course of these proposed changes. As our colleagues in Ontario note, the Bill may not become law under the current government, but the proposals are wide-ranging and follow… → Read More

Best of the Blogs

Items of Interest for BC Employers

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Human Rights, Litigation, Privacy, Termination, Wage and Hours

Our firm now publishes 10 different blogs, and they often have items of interest for BC employers.  Here is a sampling of recent posts: Customer Contacts on Linkedin = Property of the Employer – good news from the UK courts. Five Employment Issues Facing Retailers – similar issues for retailers in BC. Notices of Termination –… → Read More

No Double Recovery by Employee

Employment Standards Damages Deducted from Wrongful Dismissal Damages

Posted in Damages, Employment Standards, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

A British Columbia employer has won a case to avoid double recovery of Employment Standards and wrongful dismissal damages.  The decision in Roy v. Metasoft Systems Inc. is another piece of good news for employers to go with our recent post about the BC Human Rights Tribunal helping to discourage forum hopping. Ms. Roy was a software… → Read More

If Employees are Telecommuting …

Bucking the Yahoo! Trend

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Occupational Health and Safety, Wage and Hours

Telecommuting may be on the way out at Yahoo! but it is very much alive elsewhere.  So if you have employees who are working from home, or if you are considering it,  you should think through the employment issues. The first question is:   Do you have a written agreement to set out the telecommuting rules?  If not, you need one…. → Read More

Annual Client Conference

Conference Materials Available Online

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Human Rights, Litigation, Occupational Health and Safety, Privacy, Termination

Thanks to over 230 clients who attended our annual full day client conference on Friday March 8. The materials for all the presentations and workshops are available online here. The materials cover: What we can expect from an NDP government in Victoria Privacy in workplace computers Bill 14 – The new harassment, bullying and violence in the workplace… → Read More

Collective Agreement Severance Not Payable

Only accrued rights survive termination of the agreement

Posted in Employment Standards, Labour Relations, Termination, Unions, Wrongful Dismissal

Employees terminated after the expiry of their collective agreement are not entitled to severance pay.  That is the bottom line, and the end of the line, for the former employees of Mercury Graphics since November 8, 2012 when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear their appeal.  The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision stands and provides some useful guidance… → Read More

Month in Review

Posted in Accommodation, Age, Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Damages, Discipline, Discrimination, Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Family Status, Human Capital, Human Rights, Immigration, Investigations, Just Cause, Labour Relations, Litigation, Murphy's Laws of HR, Privacy, Recruiting, Termination, Unions, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wage and Hours, Workers Compensation, Wrongful Dismissal

The bloggers of BC Employer Advisor issued our first Month in Review to summarize our most recent posts. Visit the summary here.  

At Will Employment: What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Damages, Employment Standards, Just Cause, Termination, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wrongful Dismissal

Employment in Canada is not “at will”. But is at will employment really all it’s cracked up to be? Does it make the United States a friendlier place for employers? We don’t think so and we are happy to engage Jeff Polsky in the discussion. Jeff started this on the California Employment Law blog with a post, Like… → Read More

Overtime Class Actions and the Special Position of BC Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Employment Standards, Human Capital, Immigration, Recruiting, Wage and Hours

Big news from Ontario on overtime claims – the Court of Appeal will allow claims for statutory overtime by CIBC and Bank of Nova Scotia employees to proceed as class actions. Fortunately for British Columbia employers, such class actions are still not possible in British Columbia. CIBC won the first two rounds of the fight, and… → Read More

Termination Clauses and Mitigation

Posted in Damages, Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Litigation, Termination, Wrongful Dismissal

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision sounds a warning to employers – if you want to have a set amount of notice or compensation for termination without cause, AND you want to require the former employee to mitigate, you need to say so explicitly in the contract. Goss Power Products had a written contract… → Read More

Responding to ESA Complaints

Posted in Employment Standards, Investigations

An employer should respond promptly, fully and carefully when it receives communications regarding possible violations of the Employment Standards Act (British Columbia). In most cases, the complainant must use the “Self Help” process to try to resolve the matter directly with the employer. That process starts with a Request for Payment to the employer. The… → Read More

Restrictions on Withholding Pay

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) prohibits an employer from withholding or deducting any part of wages unless the employee has consented in writing. Problems frequently arise when employment terminates and the employer seeks to recover loans, advance payments (of wages or vacation pay) or other debts from the employee by way of deductions from… → Read More

Vacation Pay Trap

Posted in Employment Standards

Under the Employment Standards Act (British Columbia), vacation pay must be paid at the minimum rate of 4% or 6% (depending on the employee’s length of service). If the employee is entitled by contract to more than the minimum standard of vacation, the vacation pay is also increased at a rate of 2% per week…. → Read More

Commissioned Salespeople – Overtime/Statutory Holidays/Vacation

Posted in Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) starts from the presumption that employees who get some or all of their pay in commissions are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, overtime for all overtime hours, and for statutory holidays. In earlier posts, we reviewed the special rules and exemptions  and… → Read More

Commissioned Salespeople – Special Rules and Exemptions

Posted in Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) starts from the presumption that employees who get some or all of their pay in commissions are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for all hours worked, overtime for all overtime hours, and for statutory holidays. There are some special rules and exemptions: Commissioned employees are exempt… → Read More

Hot Off the Press – Doing Business in Canada

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Employment Standards, Human Rights, Labour Relations, Privacy

If your organization is currently thinking about establishing or acquiring a business in Canada, the 2012 edition of Doing Business in Canada, written by McCarthy Tétrault, will prove to be a valuable resource. The guide provides a broad overview of the legal considerations that non-residents should take into account to help ensure their success as… → Read More

What Makes an Independent Contractor?

Posted in Employee Obligations, Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

Employee or independent contractor?  It’s an important question with important consequences. The question can arise in different contexts, can be resolved with different tests, and can lead to different results.  But looking at the four common tests will help you determine the right answer. (1) The Control Test The control test has been summarized as… → Read More

The Limits to Averaging Agreements

Posted in Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) allows some flexibility in hours of work without overtime pay through the use of averaging agreements. Unfortunately, the requirements for an enforceable averaging agreement are often impractical. An averaging agreement must: be agreed, in writing, with each employee; specify the start and end dates; be signed by both parties;… → Read More

The Overtime Trap – Part II

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

Managers “Managers” are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Employment Standards Act (British Columbia). But, beware of the narrow definition, and the potential for overtime claims at straight time. Not everyone called or considered a manager in the workplace is exempt. Only those who are employed in an executive capacity, or whose principal responsibilities are… → Read More

The Overtime Trap – Part I

Posted in Benefits, Compensation, Pensions, Employment Standards, Wage and Hours

The Employment Standards Act (British Columbia) requires that an employer pay an employee overtime wages if it “requires, or directly or indirectly allows, the employee to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.” An employee who can provide some evidence of starting early, staying late, working through lunch or doing work… → Read More