Canadian HR Reporter

January 26, 2015

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 January 26, 2015 INSIDE SUCCESSION PLANNING Roundtable panellists discuss the challenges, offer advice on how to nd the next generation of talent for your organization Top 10 legal cases A look back at groundbreaking rulings from 2014 page 5 HR Leaders Talk Why is sexual harassment still a problem at work? page 17 Year in review The top workplace stories of 2014 page 24 page 6 Credit: Todd Humber (Canadian HR Reporter) domestic violence spills into workplace First-ever Canadian study on workplace impact 'wake-up call' BY Liz BeRnieR domestiC VioleNCe may start at home — but it doesn't necessarily stay there. It often spills over into many diff erent fac- ets of a victim's life, including the workplace. Many Canadian workers with domestic violence experiences say their work life was negatively im- pacted by it, according to a study by Western University in London, Ont., and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). More than one-half (53.5 per cent) of study respondents who reported a domestic violence ex- perience said at least one type of abusive act occurred at or near their workplace, according to the study of 8,429 people, most of whom were unionized employees. irty-eight per cent said it im- pacted their ability to get to work and 8.5 per cent said they have lost a job because of domestic violence. "Even if it wasn't happening at work, it was on their minds, it was distracting them, they were being sexual harassment investigations no easy task Jian Ghomeshi situation at CBC reinforces need for proper procedure BY SaRaH doBSon wheN the CBC hired em- ployment lawyer Janice Rubin of Rubin omlinson to look into the handling of workplace harass- ment allegations against former on-air personality Jian Ghomeshi, it underscored the complexities of workplace investigations. Of- ten involving he said/she said sce- narios and sensitive information, these inquiries are not easy. But having a solid policy around sexual harassment and doing a proper investigation is important if an employer wants to avoid a human rights tribunal, according to Doug MacLeod, principal at MacLeod Law Firm in Toronto. "If the employee believes that their complaint has been taken seriously and fairly investigated, then they're much less likely to go to the human rights tribunal. at's always an option — you can fi le an internal complaint and still go to the tribunal. But if the employer's handled it properly, it's much less likely that they're going to go to the tribunal." Reluctant victims One of the big challenges is the differing perspectives involved, according to Andrew Pinto, a part- ner at Pinto Wray James in Toron- to. Along with the complainant (potential victim) and respondent (potential harasser), there's also the employer. " e challenge for most orga- nizations is how best to balance on the one hand the control that you want to give to complainants, at least to some degree, while also maintaining an overall account- ability of the organization to maintain the legal requirement, which is an atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment. And those can sometimes lead in diff erent directions." Often the employee feeling harassed wants to have a private conversation and simply let her employer know about an incident that happened, said Pinto. "It might also be that they're genuinely not sure if it is harass- ment but it's left them feeling un- comfortable and they just want someone in human resources to know." HR has a responsibility to make fur- ther inquiries as to whether others have e x p e r i - $950,000 bill highlights hazards of travel insurance Do employees know enough about their coverage? BY SaRaH doBSon it was suPPosed to be a re- laxed vacation in Hawaii, but Ca- nadians Jennifer Kimmel-Huculak and her husband Darren soon found out their November 2013 getaway would cost much more than they bargained for. Jennifer was 24 weeks pregnant at the time and ended up deliver- ing a daughter by emergency C- section at a hospital in Hawaii. e price tag? $950,000. And while the couple had pur- chased travel insurance from Sas- katchewan Blue Cross before the trip, their claim was denied, with the insurance company citing nine specifi c (but undisclosed) events. " e challenges facing this fam- ily are extraordinary and diffi cult. As such, we urge Ms. Huculak to have our decision reviewed by an independent ombudsman," said Arnie Arnott, president and CEO of Saskatchewan Blue Cross, in a release. It's a gut-wrenching situation, according to Alex Bittner, Toron- to-based president of the Travel Health Insurance Association of Canada (THiA). " e last thing the insurer wants to do is turn down that claim — can you imagine the reputational risk that Blue Cross is going through right now? ey absolutely do not CONSUMER GAIN, ALBERTA PAIN Motorists fill up at a gas station in Tecumseh, Ont., on Jan. 10. Falling oil prices are taking a toll on Alberta's economy, tax revenues and potentially jobs. Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said Alberta's growth rate will be cut in half for 2015, meaning Ontario and British Columbia will duke it out in a "race of the turtles" for the title of fastest-growing economy. Time off, leave policies Results of our exclusive Canadian survey see page 10 VAryING > pg. 12 crossING > pg. 16 cBc > pg. 2 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad a ian Expert opinions from the best employment lawyers in Canada CELT1504-2015 ad.indd 1 2015-01-09 11:07 AM

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