Supreme Court of Canada: RCMP Has The Right to Collective Bargaining

On , In Employment Law

In a 6 to 1 decision the Supreme Court of Canada struck down provisions preventing the RCMP from unionizing. The decision was released January 16th. The Court determined the exclusion of the RCMP from federal labour relations legislation was unconstitutional. The Court also determined that former regulations imposing an alternate labour relations regime on RCMP…


The Office Christmas Party: What Employers Need to Know

On , In Employment Law

It’s just about Christmas time and there are plenty of festivities. If you are a business or corporation and are hosting a Christmas party for your employees there are potential liability issues which could dampen your Christmas spirit. The first case in Canada to apply host liability within the context of the work environment was…


Sexual Harassment at Work: What You Need to Know?

On , In Employment Law

These last couple of weeks and the events that have unfolded at the CBC and in Canada’s Parliament have brought sexual harassment in the work place to the forefront of conversation, politics and public awareness. Jian Ghomeshi was fired on October 26th after CBC managers were shown video, photos, texts and e-mails, some of which…


If You Have a Job You Have a Contract

On , In Employment Law

I often speak to employees who believe that since they do not have a written employment contract then they do not have a contract at all.  If you have a job then you have a contract.  If it is not in writing then it is an oral contract.  Oral contracts of employment are just as…


Constructive Dismissal

On , In Employment Law

One of the most common inquiries I receive in regards to my employment law practice is questions concerning the issue of constructive dismissal. It is a principle often misunderstood by both employers and employees alike. In practical terms, constructive dismissal describes a situation where the employer has not directly fired the employee, but rather, has…


Severance Packages (in non-union jobs)

On , In Employment Law

I am frequently retained to review severance packages that have been handed to someone who has just been fired.  Typically the package will contain a covering letter with an offer, details about any outstanding entitlement to benefits such as life insurance or pensions, a release, a recommendation to get independent legal advice, and a deadline […]


BC Family Day and Your Pay

On , In Employment Law

Last year’s announcement by Premier Christy Clark of a new statutory holiday was to the delight of many employees across the province.  The inaugural Family Day on February 11, 2013 brings the total to ten statutory holidays in British Columbia, sharing the honors with Saskatchewan for the most number of statutory holidays in the country. […]


Privacy and the Workplace: How much can your employer spy on you?

On , In Employment Law

For those who champion privacy rights the recent decision in R v. Cole by Canada’s highest court is being treated as no small victory. In a clear win for privacy rights advocates the Supreme Court of Canada in one of its more notable decisions of the year ruled that an employee’s privacy in the workplace, […]


Lifting the Covers on Infidelity in the Workplace

On , In Employment Law

The recent events surrounding General Petraeus and his female biographer-turned- mistress has once again ignited hot debate regarding workplace relationships and the infelicitous actions they sometimes spawn. Even though adultery is not an offence under criminal law it can still carry legal ramifications. The United States military is one such example where infidelity is still […]


Employees: Too Ugly to Hire, or a Must Fire?

On , In Employment Law

Human rights in Canada have come a long way. The BC Human Rights Code states that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee or prospective employee because of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, or a criminal conviction that is unrelated to the […]