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Volunteers and Employee Relations

Church and religious organizations: Maybe Adam and Eve could have appealed their sentence

We are often contacted by charities seeking to insulate themselves from potential legal action by disgruntled former members of their organization. This typically results from situations where the individual has been kicked out of the organization for specific misconduct. Although, for the most part, these disputes result in acrimonious name calling from time to time, these matters are litigated. A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal is one circumstance where an irate former member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses took the matter to Court.

 

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Missing comma means millions in overtime pay

The case involved an ambiguity in a Maine statute dealing with overtime pay. Under the statute, employees involved in certain activities were exempt from the overtime provisions, so they were not entitled to overtime pay. A group of drivers in Oakhurst argued that they were entitled to overtime pay.

 

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Federal Budget 2017-18: Impact on businesses

federal budget 2017

On March 22, 2017, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the Liberal Government’s Federal Budget 2017, Building a Strong Middle Class, which includes various measures affecting businesses. The federal budget 2017 is modest and is focused on skills training, innovation and how Canada will promote sustainable growth. The government is forecasting a deficit of $28.5-billion, […]

 

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Expanded Employer Health Tax exemption for charities with multiple locations

As of January 1, 2017, the Employer Health Tax rules specific to charities have undergone a significant change that will benefit certain charities with multiple locations: If a registered charity has more than one “qualifying campus”, it can claim an Employer Health Tax exemption amount for each one of them separately.

 

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Volunteer falls off ladder and sues church

If a volunteer falls off a ladder, and there is no one around to see how or why they fell, who is liable? The Court in the following matter addresses this.

 

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Political activities: Consultations may have side effects

As our readers know, the new government has taken steps to revamp the restrictions on political activities by charities, by dismantling the political activities audit program and by promising a new approach following consultation with the public and members of the charities industry. It is important, however, to note that the changes may not only effect the charity realm as Nova Scotia Community Interest Corporations have similar restrictions.

 

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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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