Canadian Employment Law Today

February 6, 2019

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian February 6, 2019 CRA worker suspended 30 days for not changing with the times Procedures for providing help and preferential treatment for colleagues and relatives changed with customer service changes, but worker was slow to change with them BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A 30-DAY suspension to a federal tax worker for not following new policies and procedures for accessing tax information was excessive discipline, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board has ruled. Andre Michaud worked for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) starting in 1994 as a client information offi cer at a regional tax services offi ce in Eastern Quebec. His job in- volved answering the questions of taxpayers who came to the offi ce needing assistance. Usually, to provide assistance, he accessed taxpayers' fi les after confi rming their iden- tity — or confi rming power of attorney if the individual was there on behalf of another taxpayer. Every year, Michaud and other CRA em- ployees received a reminder to review CRA's Code of Ethics and Conduct along with its Confl ict of Interest Policy and Guidelines, which included warnings against unauthor- ized access of taxpayer information — es- pecially the tax information of friends, rela- tives, acquaintences or an employee's own information. By the early 2000s, taxpayers were encour- aged to seek help via a 1-800 number before Settlement off er not good enough to dismiss harassment complaint Worker rejected settlement off er after investigation found bad behaviour but no harassment, but settlement off er and lack of corrective measures necessitated hearing before tribunal BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A BRITISH COLUMBIA university has lost its bid to have an employee's sex harass- ment complaint dismissed because the em- ployee didn't accept what it felt was a reason- able settlement off er. e worker, who is in her 30s and whose identity was protected in the hearing, started working for a B.C. university in 2015. She reported to a university manager as well as a faculty member who had management responsibilities and the position involved a one-year probationary period. e worker developed a good working relationship with the faculty member. In March 2016, they went on a business trip that required them to stay overnight at a hotel. ey had separate rooms, but the worker left her suitcase in the faculty member's room when they arrived. After a day of work on the trip, the worker was walking back to the hotel with the faculty Fired executive's 26-month notice period includes share bonus pg. 3 Employee shareholder agreement deemed transfer of shares at termination, but didn't include common law entitlement Mitigating the costs of wrongful dismissals pg. 4 Wrongfully dismissed employees are entitled to damages in lieu of notice, but they have obligations NO DISCIPLINE on page 6 » COUNTER OFFICERS on page 7 » CREDIT: CHRIS CURTIS/SHUTTERSTOCK with Colin G. M. Gibson Ask the Expert pg. 2 Discipline for misconduct while socializing with clients

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