Another BC employer has been hit with punitive damages. There have been cases where flawed investigations have led to punitive damages (see the Vernon case in BC, and Home Hardware in Alberta), and there have been jury awards for bad employer conduct (see Babine Forest Products in BC, and Wal-Mart in Ontario). Now another BC Supreme Court case – Kelly v. Norsemont Mining Inc. – has awarded punitive damages for the conduct of the employer.
Kelly sued and complained he was dismissed for insisting the company adhere to securities regulations. The employer vigorously defended. Not only did it say … Continue Reading
In an earlier post, we discussed when employers may wish to conduct workplace investigations. In this post we’ll discuss who should conduct the investigation.
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
With the complexity of workplace law and issues, employers are subject to an increasing number of workplace obligations. When a workplace incident arises it’s often required, or at least advisable, that an employer conduct a prompt and thorough investigation.
In this and subsequent posts, we will review some key legal issues that arise in conducting or directing a workplace investigation, including privacy, confidentiality, and the issue of legal privilege.
We will also discuss who should conduct the investigation, including when to use counsel, and when investigating counsel should be different than an employer’s usual employment counsel.
Finally, we’ll discuss some … Continue Reading