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Author Archive - Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley, B.A. (Phil.), is a researcher, content provider and editor. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks and Internal Control blogs, HRinfodesk and other First Reference publications. His areas of focus include broad human resources issues, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and government policies, information technology and labour market trends. Read more

Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Learn why you need to review your contracts and advocacy practices with Not-for-Profit PolicyPro

As an Executive Director, there are many different areas that need your attention on a daily basis: strategic direction, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, employee and volunteer management, media relations and grant applications, just to name a few.

With all of these factors to manage, keeping up with changes in legal compliance and CRA requirements may not be perceived as a top priority. However, failing to pay attention to compliance can leave your organization vulnerable to the risk of financial penalties and have a negative impact on your reputation.

I want to highlight a couple of recent issues you may want to consider.

 

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Evolving employment contract law, political activities and charities

Non-profit organizations may not consider it priority number one, but reviewing your legal compliance will protect your organization’s finances, your reputation, your directors and donors—even your organization—from shifting legal sands.

 

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Rogers gets $200,000 fine for faulty email unsubscribe function

For an entire year after Canada’s new anti-spam legislation (CASL) came into force, Rogers Media failed to act on complaints that email recipients were having trouble unsubscribing from the company’s marketing emails. The CRTC fined Rogers $200,000 for several related infringements of the law that occurred between July 2014 and July 2015.

 

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The hiring process: How to control risks

Recruiting and hiring new staff members is fraught with challenges. Which candidate has the right combination of skills for the job? Will she fit in with her new team members? Can he actually do the things he says he can? These questions are fundamental to effective hiring, but they don’t begin to consider the legal risks associated with the hiring process.

 

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Intellectual property belongs to employer despite contract dispute

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When an employment relationship involves intellectual property created by an employee, the employer must take special care in the employment contract to consider who owns the IP.

 

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Employee monitoring software an unnecessary violation of privacy

A municipality in British Columbia showed a “near-complete lack of awareness and understanding” of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and made no effort to assess potential privacy violations when it implemented employee-monitoring software on the computers of a dozen high-level employees, including the mayor.

 

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Common anti-fraud controls ineffective at preventing and detecting fraud

A “typical” business can lose five percent of its revenue to fraud according to a recent global fraud study. And organizations are lucky if they detect the fraud at all. Most businesses find out about fraud from a tip, not from strong internal controls.

 

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Criminal record checks available free to not-for-profit organizations, starting November 30

Starting November 30, 2013, British Columbia’s government will waive the $20 criminal record check fee for not-for-profit organizations that participate in a program that also offers free expert advice. Under BC law, employers in the volunteer and not-for-profit sector must obtain criminal record checks for job and volunteer candidates if they will work with children or vulnerable adults. The province’s criminal record check program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the law.

 

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Five-year commercial restrictive covenant upheld

Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements are fairly common in employment contracts, but courts also commonly find them to be unenforceable due to unreasonable or unclear restrictions. When parties negotiate a restrictive covenant in the context of a transfer of a business, however, the rules are different, even where the seller of the business agrees to work for the buyer. The Supreme Court of Canada recently dealt with a case like this.

 

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Online services for federal not-for-profit corporations

Corporations Canada has introduced a number of new online services for federal corporations, including those incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. Not-for-profit organizations may…

 

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Verdict in Sunrise Propane gas explosion case

A series of explosions at Sunrise Propane’s north Toronto operation in 2010 resulted in the deaths of an employee and a firefighter, forced thousands of nearby residents from their homes and caused millions of dollars in damage. In the aftermath, the company failed to comply with various provincial officer’s orders under the EPA, and at trial the Ontario Court of Justice found the company failed to properly train the employee who died and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the explosions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

 

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Bill aims to curtail trade in counterfeit goods

The federal government has introduced a Bill to make it more difficult to export, import and sell counterfeit goods, and to expand on what may be registered as a trademark and simplify the registration process. The proposed Combating Counterfeit Products Act (Bill C-56) would amend the Copyright Act, the Trade-marks Act, the Criminal Code of Canada and other Acts.

 

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Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act delayed

I’ve lost count of the coming-into-force dates the government has set for the Ontario Not-for-profit Corporations Act to take effect, but this time at least it seems there’s a clear reason. The previous estimate for the law to come into force was July of this year; the new estimated date is “no earlier than” January 2014.

 

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