Canadian HR Reporter

March 2020 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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www.hrreporter.com 11 and discharge for off-duty conduct that touches on the employer's reputation, says Ritu Mahil, a partner at Lawson Lundell in Vancouver. "[It's about:] Is it harming the company's reputation or product? Does it render the employee unable to perform his or her duty satisfactorily? Does it lead to any kind of reluctance on other employees or clients to work with that person?" It's also about looking at all the factors, including the person's seniority, if the employer has a social media policy she says. "It wouldn't hurt either to set out the process for responding to these incidents. Because it's not always going to be just cause off the bat. So, progressive discipline and the like, investigations of social media and providing guidelines for your managers — all that's useful to have in the policy also." Why a policy makes sense To establish just cause for the breach of a social media policy, it's about having a policy in place that justifies discipline and if there was any warning that this kind of thing may lead to some sort of discipline. "You have to be fair and reasonable as an employer," she says. But an employer also has to decide how it will enforce the policy and provide training around it, says Mahil. "You can't just say, 'Oh, we developed a policy.' It's not fair just to put something in writing in the back of the employee handbook. People have to be aware of what it says, what it means and what are the consequences of breaching it." CHRR "It wouldn't hurt to set out the process for responding to incidents, because it won't always be just cause." Isabelle Keeler, Cox & Palmer HR_AD_REVISED_JAN8_2020.indd 1 2020-01-08 10:31 AM

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