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

Category Archives: US vs.Canadian Employment Law

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What Do Your Policies Say About Termination?

… and does it matter?

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

Many employers have policies about termination, and specifically about what an employee is entitled to if terminated without cause.  It is a good idea to try to manage the cost of terminations, but it needs to be done properly to be effective.

Oliver v. Sure Grip Controls is a recent case where a termination policy was reviewed.  The employer tried to limit its liability by reference to the policy set out in the employee handbook.  The employer had gone to the trouble of having the handbook reviewed and signed by the employee, but the handbook included this underlined statement:

I Continue Reading

Privacy Law in Canada – A new Northern Workplaces issue

Posted in Privacy, US vs.Canadian Employment Law

Read our latest issue of Northern Workplaces here – a guide for employers south of the border who need to navigate Canadian employment and labour law.  This issue is on privacy law and may be a useful reminder for employers in British Columbia as well.

Other posts on privacy issues can be found at these links:

Privacy in Workplace Computers (the Cole decision)

Video Surveillance

Criminal Records Checks

Social Media and Job Applicants

Damages for Breach of Privacy






and here.

 … Continue Reading

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.

 … Continue Reading

Introducing Northern Workplaces, our New Client Newsletter

Posted in Human Rights, Termination, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wage and Hours, Wrongful Dismissal

McCarthy Tétrault’s Labour & Employment Group has recently launched a newsletter destined for our U.S. clients and contacts entitled Northern Workplaces.

Northern Workplaces is just one of the tools we are deploying to address labour and employment issues of interest to American-based clients and counterparts who deal with employment matters in Canada. Our first and second issues were sent in September.… Continue Reading

What’s Happening With Drug Testing in Canada?

Our Continuing Cross Border Dialogue

Posted in Discrimination, Human Rights, Labour Relations, Privacy, Unions, US vs.Canadian Employment Law

Thanks to Jeff Polsky for answering my question about minimizing the risk of a runaway jury in US employment claims.  Those are important tips for employers in the US, and for employers in Canada whether or not we see more jury trials in employment cases.

Another apparent distinction between US and Canadian employment law is drug testing.  Restrictions on drug testing in Canada are a continuing source of frustration, especially for US employers with operations in Canada.

Drug and alcohol testing in Canada has typically been restricted to reasonable cause, post-incident or return to work from rehabilitation scenarios.  Pre-employment and … Continue Reading

Jury Trials in Employment Cases

Another US/Canada Difference

Posted in Damages, Litigation, Termination, US vs.Canadian Employment Law, Wrongful Dismissal

Jeff Polsky has responded on the issue of at will employment and we’ll accept that there is good and bad in both systems.  The most important thing for employers from either the US or Canada operating in the other country is to understand the difference and make appropriate adjustments in hiring and firing practices.

Jeff’s post also asked about jury trials in Canada, and specifically whether it was really true that employment claims don’t go to juries and don’t result in punitive damage awards.

Both jury trials and punitive damages are possible in Canada, but they are rare and limited.  … Continue Reading

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 a Whole Different Country, suggesting that being an employer without at will employment was too scary to contemplate. Well, the fact is that employers in Canada are doing just fine, thank you very much, having traded the lottery of at will … Continue Reading