Labour of Law
A blog published by the Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP Labour Law Group. We provide information and practical insights on all areas of labour law, including labour relations legislation, bargaining rights, collective agreements, union administration, member representation, human rights, harassment and discrimination, workers compensation in Ottawa, throughout Ontario and across Canada.
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For Your Eyes Only - Privacy and Digital Technology

by Paul Taylor-Sussex on September 21, 2016

For Your Eyes Only - Privacy and Digital Technology

With the proliferation of new technology and how entwined it is in our lives, the courts have recognized the need to protect personal privacy in the workplace. When it comes to the electronic devices we use at work, however, the law is still developing.

A recent arbitration decision has gone some way to clarify the issue. The Ontario Grievance Settlement Board decision Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (Bhattacharya) v Ontario (Government and Consumer Services) concerned an employee who worked at a branch of the Ministry of Government Services. In 2012, a series of anonymous emails were sent to various individuals in the government alleging significant unethical conduct on the part of the employee’s Branch Director. In July 2012, a USB key was discovered, which was later found to belong to the employee. On inspection, the key contained draft emails and other files associated with the anonymous emails, as well as over one hundred confidential government documents. As a result of this discovery, the employee was terminated.

Read more on For Your Eyes Only - Privacy and Digital Technology

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

It's All In Your Head! When Should You Report A Head Injury?

by Peggy King on August 31, 2016

It's All In Your Head! When Should You Report A Head Injury?

A workplace head injury is one of the most serious of all on-the-job injuries. A blow or a jolt to the head can disrupt the normal function of the brain. This is called a brain injury or concussion. The severity of the injury may not be initially evident, therefore it should be reported right away to your employer and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

Every brain injury is different, which means that some symptoms appear right away while others may not show up for days or weeks. Depending on the symptoms, this may make it difficult for people to realize that they are experiencing difficulties. Just as symptoms can be different, so can recovery times, which can last for days, weeks or longer.

Read more on It's All In Your Head! When Should You Report A Head Injury?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Arbitrations vs. Trials: What's the Difference?

by Karine Dion on August 23, 2016

Arbitrations vs. Trials: What's the Difference?

Many areas of the law utilize the Canadian court system to resolve their disputes. Should you ever have to go through this system, you will probably notice that it is very formalized, with many rules attached to every step of litigation. In addition, your judge may or may not be an expert in the area of law that concerns your file, and the costs associated with running a trial are quite high.

Arbitration, on the other hand, is a completely different way to resolve disputes. Although it is not necessarily reserved for matters dealing with labour law issues, unionized workers in Canada that are subject to a collective agreement are some of the main beneficiaries of such a system.

Read more on Arbitrations vs. Trials: What's the Difference?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

How Could Phoenix Payroll Land the Feds in Hot Water? Let Us Count the Ways

by Blog Editor on August 8, 2016

How Could Phoenix Payroll Land the Feds in Hot Water? Let Us Count the Ways

Since February, federal public service employees have been suffering a huge range of payroll problems as a result of the Federal Government switching to the new Phoenix payroll system. CBC recently reported that “[a]bout 720 public servants - mostly new hires and students - have not received pay. Another 1,100 have not received parental, long-term disability or severance payments, while more than 80,000 employees entitled to supplementary pay for extra duties, over-time or pay adjustments have had problems.” It appears that the number of public servants who have reported not receiving any pay or parental, long-term disability or severance payments is continuing to rise.

Read more on How Could Phoenix Payroll Land the Feds in Hot Water? Let Us Count the Ways

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

NS to Junior Hockey Players: Labour Protection? Who Needs It!

by Andrew Reinholdt on July 27, 2016

NS to Junior Hockey Players: Labour Protection? Who Needs It!

In December, I wrote about the challenges junior hockey players have faced in their attempt to unionize and enforce their basic employment rights, such as minimum wage. As though these attempts were not difficult enough, provincial governments have been actively trying to make it even harder for players to enforce even their minimum employment rights.

Read more on NS to Junior Hockey Players: Labour Protection? Who Needs It!

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.