Category: Northern Exposure

Employment law articles for U.S. companies with employees in Canada. Written by the attorneys at Fasken Martineau law firm.

How Will Your Business Respond to Family Day?

by Brian Smeenk, formerly with McCarthy Tetrault A new statutory holiday, Family Day, has been declared in the province of Ontario. It will be celebrated on February 18. In subsequent years, it will fall on the third Monday of each February. Employers should begin considering how their organization will respond. In particular, employers should begin […]

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Compassionate Care Benefits for Canadian Employees

By Donovan Plomp McCarthy Tetrault In Canada, employees are entitled to certain government-provided benefits under the federal Employment Insurance Act, including “compassionate care benefits.” The introduction of these benefits in January 2004 prompted almost all provinces and territories to introduce job-protected compassionate care leave in their respective minimum employment standards laws. Employers in Canada must […]

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Big Brother Is Here: Ontario’s Integrated Approach to Enforcement

by Daniel Pugen McCarthy Tetrault Ontario’s new Regulatory Modernization Act, 2007 may sound like a bland piece of regulatory updating, but it actually contains significant changes to regulatory enforcement processes, including those in the employment field. Passed by the Ontario legislature on May 17, 2007, and going into effect on January 17, 2008, this law […]

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Ruling Helps Alberta Employers Defend Preemployment Testing Challenges

by Michael Ford McCarthy Tetrault A long-awaited ruling of the Alberta Court of Appeal clears up some questions related to preemployment drug and alcohol testing related to safety-sensitive positions. The case – Chiasson v. Kellogg Brown & Root issued December 28, 2007 – involved an admitted casual user of marijuana being terminated from his employment […]

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Terminating for cause? How to limit your liability in Canada

By Karen Sargeant and Brian P. Smeenk You’ve likely been in this situation before: One of your employees has engaged in questionable conduct. You’re in the process of investigating and are considering whether you should terminate the employee for cause. How do you go about it under Canadian employment laws? Be careful Terminating an employee’s […]

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Class-Action Lawsuits Filed Against KMPG, CIBC, Scotiabank

By Trevor Lawson and Donovan Plomp McCarthy Tetrault Although large employment-related class-action lawsuits have become commonplace in the United States, until recently they were virtually unknown in Canada. The relative peace enjoyed by Canadian employers on this front was shattered with a $651 million class-action lawsuit filed in June 2007 against the Canadian Imperial Bank […]

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Biometric Hand Scanners vs. Religious Beliefs: What Does the Law Say?

by Daniel Pugen McCarthy Tetrault Biometric hand scanners vs. religious beliefs: What does the law say? In Canada, employers must accommodate their employees’ religious beliefs to the point of “undue hardship” for the employer. But what if you don’t consider an employee’s religious beliefs “mainstream”? That doesn’t matter, according to a recent decision by an […]

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Ontario Adds Holiday to Celebrate Families; Other Provinces May Follow

by Daniel Pugen McCarthy Tetrault Following its recent re-election in October, the Ontario provincial government led by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty established a new public holiday called “Family Day.” The holiday falls on the third Monday in February each year. Ontario joins the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan in creating a public holiday in February. […]

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Managing Absences Related to Injury and Illness

by Daniel Pugen McCarthy Tetrault An increasingly difficult task for HR professionals is managing absences related to injury and illness. How far can you go to make an employee prove he or she is legitimately ill or legitimately able to return to work without restriction? The following are some tips to help your Canadian business […]

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Must-Know Facts about Employment Contracts in Canada

McCarthy Tetrault Q. When does an employer have an employment contract with its employees? A. Every employer in Canada has an employment contract, whether written or unwritten, with each of its nonunion employees. Sometimes, only some of the terms are in writing. When necessary, courts will imply reasonable terms in the absence of any express […]

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