From Winter of Discontent to Spring of Equality?

By Graeme McFarlane As we moved through the last few months of 2017, we heard repeated allegations of sexual harassment brought against many high profile public figures. While many of these charges remain just allegations, the underlying factual scenarios follow...

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General Duty of Honesty Only Extends So Far

By Graeme McFarlane In a resounding decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Court rejected the lower court’s decision that had greatly expanded an employer’s obligations to its employees. The lower court had declared that employers were now subject...

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Safety Trumps Belief: Of Hardship and Helmets

By Graeme McFarlane Good employers are concerned about respecting the Human Rights of their employees, and they should be. Sometimes there can be a real tension between respecting Human Rights and the safe management of the workplace. A recent case...

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A Caveat on Contractors: Beware the Bite of the Unicorn?

By Graeme McFarlane Ah, the true independent contractor—the rarest of all the beasts. In the jungle of employment law, it is sought after for its rich cost savings, lower head counts and workplace efficiencies. If only all businesses could have...

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Don’t Dis(miss) the Devil in the Details

By Graeme McFarlane Many businesses have experienced the loss of a valuable employee.  Some are fortunate enough to have that employee return to the fold after venturing out into the unknown.  A recent case, however, illustrates some of the risks...

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If You Promise the Stars…Deliver

By Graeme McFarlane A recent case from Ontario illustrates a shift in judicial thinking with respect to the creation and operation of the employment relationship.  A short service employee won a judgement providing him with $500,000 in extra contractual damages...

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The Employee Who Didn’t Come Back: Abandonment and Accountability

By Graeme McFarlane Many employers have faced the frustrating situation where an employee is away from work on medical leave, but she will not cooperate in managing any potential return.  The employer finds itself trapped between its duty to accommodate...

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Darwin Award for Daytime Moonlighter

By Graeme McFarlane So you think that those accidental phone calls are amusing and harmless, right? You may want to think again. A Fool Falls Afoul of a Phone Misfortune (although probably deserved) fell upon an IBM employee working in Alberta. Two...

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