Canadian HR Reporter

November 17, 2014

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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PM40065782 RO9496 November 17, 2014 INSIDE CULTURE CHANGE Canadian HR Reporter's exclusive roundtable on the benefits of healthy workplace cultures Empty piggy banks Surprise! Canadians aren't saving enough for retirement page 3 Executive Series Skills shortage: Is it real or do we have a glut of talent? page 10 Splitting HR in 2? Senior HR professionals weigh in on new concept page 13 page 6 Armed RCMP officers race across a street on Parliament Hill following a shooting incident in Ottawa on Oct. 22. A Canadian soldier was shot at the Canadian War Memorial and the shooter then ran towards the nearby Parliament Buildings, where more shots were fired — employers in the area were ordered to lock down their facilities and keep staff inside. Ghomeshi's legal HR quagmire Collective agreement complicates matters By Sarah DoBSon It's HaRd to say what garnered the most attention — the $55-mil- lion lawsuit, the firing of a popular radio host, admissions of secret sexual activities, allegations of as- sault or the fact the CBC was in- volved. But the termination of ra- dio host Jian Ghomeshi is steeped in legal HR issues around termina- tions and collective agreements. On Oct. 26, CBC announced its relationship with the host had ended. en the Globe and Mail quoted a CBC spokesperson as saying, "Information came to our attention recently that, in CBC's judgment, precludes us from con- tinuing our relationship." Ghomeshi gave his version of events on Facebook: "I've been fired from the CBC because of the risk of my private sex life being made public." He said he indulged in "rough sex" but it was always consensual, and he had shared this information with the CBC. "They said they're not con- cerned about the legal side. But then they said that this type of sexual behaviour was unbecoming of a prominent host on the CBC. ey said that I was being dis- missed for 'the risk of the percep- tion that may come from a story that could come out.'" Ghomeshi later filed a $55-mil- lion lawsuit against the CBC. "In bad faith and violation of the mutual understanding of a common interest between itself and Mr. Ghomeshi, the CBC vio- lated the confidence that it had been entrusted with over several months respecting Mr. Ghome- shi's personal life, and wrongfully used the confidential information obtained by it under the guise of trusted confidant, as the basis to terminate his employment," it said. "e conduct of the CBC has neg- atively impacted and will continue to impact Mr. Ghomeshi's public reputation and future employ- ment and other opportunities." However, it's not certain the lawsuit will stand, as Ghomeshi is a Employer liability with Ebola panic Forcing workers to take leaves, sending them home not best practices By Liz Bernier In noRtH amERIca, at least, there is no outbreak — there have been only two confirmed cases of Ebola contracted on American soil and no confirmed cases in Canada. But while the virus itself isn't sweeping through the population, Ebola panic certainly is. With intense media coverage, fears around the deadly disease have taken hold — but hastily reacting to those fears could create legal woes for employers. For most, there's no reason to panic, said David Whitten, partner at Whitten and Lublin in Toronto. "Unless you're a first responder or somebody who is required to travel to West Africa and hang out in hospitals on a regular basis for your job, the odds of this ever be- coming an issue are pretty slim," he said. "Despite all that, there's go- ing to be a lot of people that are going to start, on the employer's side, (to) have some discrimina- tory treatment." Some employers might rush to judgment, sending employees home or putting them on leave unnecessarily. But employers need to use caution, said Erin Kuzz, a found- ing member of Sherrard Kuzz in Toronto. "If employers react in a knee- jerk way… then what they're going to do is, number one, create legal liability for themselves. But they're also going to create much more stress and panic in the workplace. "So it's ultimately not in are you prepared for a lockdown? 'Lone wolf, ' 'disgruntled employee' real risks, says expert By Sarah DoBSon oncE tHE directive went out from RCMP and the Ottawa Po- lice Service, Export Development Canada (EDC) initiated a lock- down. ere was at least one gun- man loose, who had attacked a sol- dier at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill. EDC's headquarters, which house about 800 employees, is a secure building so protocols can quickly be enacted, according to spokesperson Philip Taylor. All the entrances were sealed off, though people inside were allowed to move about freely — with the caution they may have to move away from windows if the situa- tion escalated. Several hours later, the lockdown was lifted. Overall, the procedure went well, said Taylor, adding the com- pany had gone through tabletop exercises just recently and iden- tified some areas in need of im- provement — "It was very timely." "It's fair to say that if you are a medium to large employer, this is on your mind, anytime there's an event like this," he said. "It creates DON'T > pg. 12 Jian Ghomeshi is suing the CBC for $55 million in a case steeped in legal HR issues. Risk > pg. 8 is > pg. 12

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