Tag: Brian Smeenk

Protecting Yourself from Canadian Labor Arbitrators’ Expanding Powers

By Brian P. Smeenk How can you protect yourself from arbitrators’ ever-increasing damages awards, based on ever-expanding grounds? In the April 25 Northern Exposure entry “Canadian Court Trims $500K Dismissal Damages, Upholds Arbitrator’s Broad Authority,” we reported on the latest notable example of a Canadian labor arbitrator’s expansive award being upheld by the courts. That […]

Employer Has More Latitude than Police to Search Teacher’s Porn-Laden Laptop

By Maria Giagilitsis and Brian Smeenk In a decision released earlier this week, the highest court in Canada’s most populous province, Ontario, issued a surprising ruling on workplace privacy law. The case involved criminal charges against a teacher accused of possession of child pornography. The court said the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy […]

Don’t Get Tangled Up in Duct Tape: Lessons for Employers

By Ida Martin and Brian Smeenk The City of Mississauga was recently embarrassed by a video of two of its employees duct-taped together. They were squirming around on a table, taped by their hands, torsos, and feet. This was apparently a routine employee hazing. It was leaked to the media by an employee who had […]

Wage Settlements Across Canada Slow Down — More in Private Sector

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) reports that wage settlements in unionized companies this year (January to August 2009) have averaged 2.4 percent. The results are based on 237 agreements covering 632,000 employees. Wage adjustments are averaging 2.5 percent in the public sector and 1.9 percent in the private sector.  See www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/labour/labour_relations/info_analysis. The spread between public- […]

Broad Drug Testing Policies Approved by Arbitrator

By Brian P. Smeenk Drug and alcohol testing has long been a sensitive subject in Canada, especially in safety-sensitive workplaces. A recent 128-page arbitration decision by a leading Canadian arbitrator may have put to rest many of the remaining questions about what kinds of policies will be enforceable in Canada and what they should contain. […]

Managing Employees Abroad

by Brian Smeenk Does your company send employees into other countries? Do you employ foreign nationals in international aassignments? These situations have their own, unique complexities and legal issues. To be successful in managing its employees abroad, employers need to have an employment relationship that protects both its company and its employees. Let’s look at […]