The Workplace Lawyers

Limitation Clauses - Keep Your Contract!

30/07/19 Paul Beriault Read post

Employees, particularly younger employees entering the workforce for the first time, will occasionally fail to thoroughly review or negotiate the terms of their contract before signing them. ...more

Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace

28/06/19 Wilson McCutchan Read post

Many employees, especially those who occupy “safety sensitive” positions (where employees have their own safety and others’ in their hands), will be asked to submit to a drug and alcohol test of one form or another, either as a pre-requisite for obtaining employment, over the course of employment, or both. The various types of tests include: pre-employment testing; reasonable cause/reasonable suspicion testing; post-incident testing; and random testing. ...more

Mental Disability: To Disclose, or Not to Disclose – That is the Question

29/05/19 Sophie Purnell Read post

In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Prince Hamlet utters the famous phrase “to be, or not to be, that is the question.” In this soliloquy, Prince Hamlet addresses the struggles of mental disability. Prince Hamlet contemplates the struggles of continuing to live but acknowledges that the alternative may be worse. Likewise, although not to the same scale as Prince Hamlet’s question, for some employees disclosing a mental disability to employers may prove... ...more

Never Resign!

10/05/19 Jarret Janis Read post

Okay, if you wish to move to a new position, you have already lined up a new job, and you wish to give notice to your current employer then yes, you should communicate your intention to depart. However, if you are emotional after some sort of workplace confrontation, or find yourself in almost any situation other than that just described above regarding a friendly and planned departure, you probably should... ...more

The Power of a Paper Trail

30/04/19 Linda Lim Read post

Many employees have seen how employers create their own paper trail: whether in the form of a lengthy employee file, or simply a record of disciplinary notices eventually leading up to discipline and maybe even dismissal. Whereas employers are generally (or at least should be) good at maintaining a paper trail for their employees (i.e. in the form of an employee file), employees would be wise to maintain their own... ...more

Family Status Discrimination

31/03/19 Andrew Tarver Read post

One of the most underdeveloped areas of human rights law is protection of discrimination on the basis of family status. Protection against discrimination on the basis of family status in the human rights legislation of every common law jurisdiction in Canada, including Alberta. Within Alberta, family status is defined as “being related to another person by blood, marriage or adoption”, extending the protection beyond simply biological parents. ...more

Sexual Harassment and #MeToo in the Workplace

31/01/19 Sarah Coderre Read post

Under the common law, each employee is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect in the workplace. Canadian courts have concluded that it is an implied term in each employment contract that the employer will treat the employee respectfully, and this implied term has been expanded over time to include the requirement to provide a workplace free of harassment, including sexual harassment. ...more

Insubordination and Just Cause

28/12/18 Paul Beriault Read post

In Beaudoin v Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, 2018 ABQB 627 (“Beaudoin”), the employer Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (“AFSC”) dismissed the Plaintiff, Ms. Sandra Beaudoin for just cause, alleging insubordination and disobedience. The Court found that the dismissal of the Plaintiff Ms. Beaudoin was unjustified in the circumstances, and awarded Ms. Beaudoin 14-months payment in lieu of reasonable notice. ...more

Alberta Court Issues Stern Rebuke of Unfair Employer Conduct

02/11/18 Joel Fairbrother Read post

The recent Alberta case Jonasson v Nexen, 2018 ABQB 598 (“Jonasson”) is a recent step in the direction of employee rights in Alberta, because it affirms obligations of honesty and fairness on employers in the province, with potentially sweeping implications. ...more

My Manager is Changing my Position and my Pay; Is this a Constructive Dismissal?

29/10/18 Eric Lam Read post

Employees often wonder if there is anything they can do when they are told by their manager or boss that their job title or their pay structure will be changing. If an employee does not want to have their job changed in these ways, can they refuse to accept? ...more

Signed a Release? You May Still Have a Claim

27/09/18 Drew Jarisz Read post

For many, the termination of their employment comes as a shock. People often invest years of their lives into the jobs they perform and develop relationships with those they see on a daily basis. It is extraordinarily difficult at the time of dismissal to understand what the best course of action is, or even what rights you can avail yourself to. ...more

New Saskatchewan Identity Rights

24/05/18 Jarret Janis Read post

We are pleased to announce and celebrate the decision today of Justice Krogan of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan. This decision, giving the right of all Saskatchewan citizens, regardless of their age to change their gender identity or sex designation on their birth certificate to reflect whom they are as they choose. That choice remains M or F or removing any reference to gender or sex or having... ...more

New Just Cause Case: A Lesson For Employers and an Opportunity for Employees

21/08/17 Joel Fairbrother Read post

The recent Alberta case Lalonde v Sena Solid Waste Holdings Inc., 2017 ABQB 374 will likely serve as a reminder to employers that alleging just cause when terminating an employee’s employment is not a risk-free endeavor. ...more

Bad News for Employers: Bonuses Getting Harder to Withhold After Terminating Employment

27/09/16 Joel Fairbrother Read post

It is now well established in Canada that when an employer terminates the employment of an employee without just cause, it must pay the employee both the notice period outlined in the applicable provincial statute, such as the Employment Standards Code of Alberta, and an additional amount, the total of which is known as “reasonable notice” of termination. ...more

Social media and the workplace: Employers should "read the writing on the [facebook] wall"

08/12/14 Jarret Janis Read post

The Decision ...more