British Columbia Employer Advisor Blog – Quarterly Review

This is our Quarterly Review, highlighting posts on our British Columbia Employer Advisor blog. Follow the links to any of these specific posts, or visit the blog at where you can sign up to get each new post as it is published. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Rare Costs Award at BC Human Rights Tribunal for Improper Conduct
By Ryley Mennie on September 19th, 2014

Despite an employer’s legitimate basis for terminating an employee’s employment, it will often find itself a respondent to a human rights complaint following termination. The costs for employers to defend a human rights complaint can be very high and, unlike in the courts, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to order unsuccessful parties to pay the successful party’s …

When Does an Employer Own Copyright in a Photograph Made by an Employee?
By Donovan Plomp on September 3rd, 2014

Our colleague, Keith Rose, has posted here about the recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision in Mejia v. LaSalle College International Vancouver Inc., 2014 BCSC 1559. The case is a reminder to employers about the importance of explicitly and comprehensively addressing intellectual property rights in employment agreements.

Teachers’ Strike: What does it mean for your workplace?
By Christopher McHardy on August 29th, 2014

While talks continue, there is no immediate end in sight for the ongoing teachers’ strike. For employees with school-age children, this may mean facing a child care gap starting next week. As an employer, what are your legal obligations and what can you do to make sure work continues while school’s out? The Legal Framework …

Reassignment of CN Employee a Constructive Dismissal
By Rosalie Cress on August 21st, 2014

A BC employee has successfully asserted a claim for constructive dismissal after being reassigned to a new position. Younger v. Canadian National Railway Company is a good reminder for employers that the courts may find there has been a constructive dismissal where an employee has been reassigned to a new position involving fewer responsibilities and a reduction in …

Have Your Say on BC’s Private Sector Privacy Legislation
Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act
By Rosalie Cress on August 15th, 2014

Since it came into force in 2004, British Columbia’s private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection Act, has had a significant impact on the way British Columbia employers collect, use and disclose the personal information of their employees and others. The last review of the Act took place in 2008. A Special Committee is …

Update on Overtime Class Actions in Canada
Ontario Court approves unique settlement of overtime class action
By Christopher McHardy on August 14th, 2014

Canadian employers have been watching a series of class action claims, with employees claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid overtime, since 2007. While overtime class action claims are still not possible in British Columbia (for the reasons discussed here), claims can balloon in other provinces when a representative plaintiff claims unpaid overtime for …

BC Supreme Court Declines to Defer to Baptist Church
Churches and other employers must be cautious when relying on internal procedures to dismiss individuals
By Ryley Mennie and Will Skinner on August 11th, 2014

The B.C. Supreme Court recently decided an application to hear a pastor’s wrongful dismissal claim, which may impact employers both inside and outside of ecclesiastical contexts. In Kong v. Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church, the Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church applied to have a claim for wrongful dismissal filed by its former Senior Pastor, the Reverend Alfred …

Workplace Drug Dealing Provides After-Acquired Cause for Termination
Employer had just cause based on evidence discovered after termination
By Rosalie Cress and Will Skinner on August 1st, 2014

In most cases, employees who commit misconduct will face the consequences of their actions during their employment, in the form of discipline or even termination for just cause. But, what if the employer only learns of an employee’s misconduct after the employee is dismissed without cause? What recourse does the employer have? The British Columbia …

BC Human Rights Tribunal Issues New Rules Of Practice and Procedure
By Donovan Plomp on July 30th, 2014

Following on its new complaint and application forms introduced earlier this year, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently issued new Rules of Practice and Procedure, replacing its former Rules from January 2008. The 2014 Rules are directed at reducing the number of rules and streamlining and simplifying the complaint resolution process. Some of …

SCC Decision Regarding Wal-Mart In Québec A Cautionary Case For All Canadian Unionized Employers
By Christopher McHardy on July 22nd, 2014

Our colleagues in Québec have produced a helpful summary of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision involving a Wal-Mart in Jonquière, Québec, found to have breached its statutory duties during the freeze period following certification of a bargaining unit. After negotiations for a collective agreement reached a standstill, the Wal-Mart in question decided to …

Getting in the Spirit – BC Brings New Liquor Laws Into Force
By Ryley Mennie and Will Skinner on July 9th, 2014

On June 20, 2014, the B.C. Government announced a host of new liquor laws that will be of interest to B.C. employers. Regulations that came into force under Bill-15, also known as the Liquor Control and Licensing Amendment Act, 2014, amend the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation to permit: licensed establishments to vary drink …