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Volunteers and Employee Relations

Update: Travel to the United States

As per the executive order issued by the President of the United States on Friday, January 27, 2017, a 90–day visa suspension is in place for all travel to the United States (except for those holding diplomatic status) by nationals of the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

 

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Closing your business for the holidays

The holidays are quickly approaching. However, leading to that point of unwinding can be stressful for many business owners, with the balancing of family demands and workplace year–end pressures. Regardless of such amounting pressures, businesses should not neglect their responsibilities to employees and clients before closing for the holidays.

 

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Political activities law: Charity brings new Charter challenge

When the Liberals came into power last year, the new Minister of National Revenue announced that she was putting a halt to the “political activities” audit of charities that the previous administration had been conducting for the past few years. In practice, this meant that the charities in line to be audited under the program were given a reprieve, but those that were already in the course of being audited were not. One of the latter charities, Canada Without Poverty, is now bringing a constitutional challenge against the political activities law.

 

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New tort: Publicity given to private life

The Federal Court of Appeal has provided some guidance on the recently–recognized tort of intrusion upon seclusion and the as–yet–unrecognized tort of publicity given to private life.

 

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Proposed Manitoba accessible employment standards

The Accessibility Advisory Council’s (AAC) is inviting interested stakeholders to provide their views to its initial proposal for accessible employment standards. Therefore, employment is the second of five accessibility standards being developed under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA).

 

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Proposed Nova Scotia accessibility legislation

On November 2, 2016, the government proposed Nova Scotia accessibility legislation to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Nova Scotians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of everyday life by promoting and encouraging the prevention, reduction and removal of barriers.

 

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Privacy injunctions in the age of the internet and social media

Canadian common law courts are still far behind the English courts which have developed a much more flexible tort of misuse of private information, as well as remedies for breach that include damages to compensate for the loss or diminution of a right to control private information, and now following the PJS case, perhaps also exemplary or punitive damages and an accounting of profits. Surprisingly, Canadian courts have not had to canvass recently whether the English common law tort of misuse of private information should be adopted in Canada.

 

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Charities political activities: CRA consulting on rules

The Government of Canada has committed to modernizing the rules governing the charitable sector to ensure that they are operating in a regulatory environment that respects and encourages their contribution to society. One of the areas they are looking into is clarifying the rules governing charities political activities.

 

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Consulting with Canadians on accessibility legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life.

 

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Israeli arrests provide lessons for Canadian charities

For most Canadians and Canadian Charities the Anti-Terrorism rules are a red herring to be reviewed only in the rarest of situations, if at all. However, recent events in Israel provide some motivation for Canadian Charities doing work abroad to take a closer look at these rules. According to international news reports the Israeli authorities have arrested the Gazan head of an international Christian charity on the allegation that he was funneling international aid donations to Hamas.

 

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A review of new whistleblower protections under Ontario’s Securities Act

In connection with the establishment of the Ontario Securities Commission’s new Whistleblower Program in July 2016, which includes monetary incentives for whistleblowers in Ontario, the Ontario government has approved amendments to the Securities Act (Ontario) to provide additional protection to persons who report a potential violation of Ontario securities law or a by-law or other instrument of a self-regulatory organization. The amendments were proclaimed into force on June 28, 2016.

 

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 3

Getting your contracts in writing is half the battle. You must also ensure that your contract says what you want it to say, and says it clearly. The main issue in the following case was the interpretation of an employment agreement.

 

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Pension and benefit plan provider breaches privacy law causing employee to lose life insurance coverage

Many of us have called service providers to change basic information, such as a mailing address. You pick up the phone, speak to a representative, and the change is made; no big deal, right? This seamless scenario may not always be the case. Any little misstep on an organization’s part can cause grief not only for the customer, but also for the organization itself. This proved to be true when an employee complained, to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, that her employment pension and benefit provider disclosed her personal information to a third party without her consent.

 

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Ministry of Finance accepting comments on new Employer Health Tax rules for charities

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is proposing a new regulation under the Employer Health Tax Act, to include special Employer Health Tax rules for registered charities. The new regulation could be effective as early as January 1, 2017.

 

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 2

Many employers still do not enter into written contracts with their employees. A recent case from British Columbia illustrates why this is a bad idea. The parties ended up in Court, where a Judge had to piece together testimony and the facts at the time the contract was made, to determine the nature of contract.

 

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