Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Photo: flickr/[Alana Post]

Requesting medical information from employees may raise privacy issues. Employees have the right to keep their medical information confidential and private. But employers also have the right to know about their employees’ illness or disability, and have the right to seek medical information in order to provide appropriate accommodation. So, how can we balance the two?

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Administrative Segregation and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Administrative Segregation and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Photo:flickr/[whitesun12]

On January 4, 2019, Madam Justice Dawn Pentelechuk found that Mr. Ryan Prystay’s lengthy stay in administrative segregation at the Edmonton Remand Centre breached section 12 of the Charter. Consequently, she granted him enhanced credit of 3.75 days for each day spent in administrative segregation.

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Workplace Harassment in the RCMP and Civilian Oversight

Workplace Harassment in the RCMP and Civilian Oversight

Photo: flickr/[RCMP Musical Ride—Sunset Ceremonies]

by Rowan Hickie

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, mainstream awareness surrounding workplace harassment and bullying has expanded beyond the borders of Hollywood. One such workplace that has seen increased awareness of harassment has been the RCMP. While RCMP employees have been coming forward about the harassment and abuse they experienced in the workplace for many years, the past few years have seen not only an increase in the number of RCMP members coming forward and public awareness and interest in the issue, but also government and institutional response.

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A Significant Human Rights Event for the Lubicon People

A Significant Human Rights Event for the Lubicon People

flickr/[USDA NRCS Montana]

In 1899, Treaty 8 was negotiated with several First Nations groups in Northern Alberta—North East Saskatchewan, Southwest parts of the Northwest Territories and later Eastern British Columbia—resulting in land surrender to the Crown. However, members of the Lubicon Lake Band were left out of the negotiations. This launched several decades of claims and disputes between Lubicon people and the federal and provincial governments. While the Lubicons continued to live in their traditional ways, the province of Alberta leased areas of the disputed lands for oil and gas development and provided permits for harvesting lumber using clear cut methods. These activities had negative impacts on the Lubicon people. The dispute became known across Canada and the world when Amnesty International and the United Nations became involved.

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Rowbotham Order, Publication Ban, Sealing Order and In Camera Proceeding

 Rowbotham Order, Publication Ban, Sealing Order and In Camera Proceeding

https://://www.flickr.com/photos/sallybuck/

The Appellant, Her Majesty the Queen, appealed a Rowbotham order granted by Justice DRG Thomas on March 11, 2016, which directed the Alberta government to pay Mr. Vader’s (the Respondent’s) legal fees for work previously completed. The order also allowed a publication ban, a sealing order and an in camera hearing of the Rowbotham application.

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Discrimination and Harassment Case Highlights the Difficulties in Choosing the Appropriate Forum

Discrimination and Harassment Case Highlights the Difficulties in Choosing the Appropriate Forum

https://public domain

LL sued her former employer Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL) for damages for its failure to protect her (as her employer) from ongoing sexual harassment and abuse. LL also claimed damages for constructive dismissal. CNRL applied to have the actions summarily dismissed or for an order to have portions of LL’s claims struck (at paras 1-3).

CNRL employed LL for approximately four years (2010 to 2014) as a Testing Technician. LL alleged that beginning on her first day of work (on Shift A), she experienced verbal, emotional and sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse from her male colleagues and the male team lead (at para 4). The types of harassment and abuse included (at para 5):

  • Inappropriate and discriminatory comments against Aboriginal people;

  • Inappropriate and discriminatory comments against women;

  • Inappropriate sexual comments;

  • Inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact;

  • Breaches of her privacy when her supervisor illegally obtained her home address and visited her home uninvited;

  • Her supervisor stalking her by telephone and in person;

  • Unlawful coercion of the Respondent into a sexual relationship with her supervisor under threat of being fired; and

  • Belittling and demeaning treatment of the Respondent in the presence of other team members.

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Effects of the Notwithstanding Clause on Human Rights

 Effects of the Notwithstanding Clause on Human Rights

https://www.flickr.com/eric parker

Recently, there has been much discussion of the use of the notwithstanding clause, which is section 33(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter). Section 33(1) reads:

Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15.

Section 33(3) provides that a declaration made under section 33(1) shall cease to have effect after five years and section 33(4) states that a declaration may be re-enacted by Parliament or the legislatures.

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Over-Representation of Indigenous (and other Racialized) Children in the Child Welfare System: Human Rights Aspects

Over-Representation of Indigenous (and other Racialized) Children in the Child Welfare System: Human Rights Aspects

https://www.flickr.com/orange shirt day across delta

For the past few decades, there has been growing publicity about the over-representation of Indigenous and other minority children in our child welfare systems across Canada. The 2015 findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission confirmed that the over-representation of Indigenous children in Canadian child welfare systems has reached a crisis level. Even the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2012 noted that Canada needed to take urgent measures to address the “discriminatory over-representation” of Indigenous children who were in “out-of-home” care. The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently released a report called Interrupted Childhoods: Over-representation of Indigenous and Black children in Ontario child welfare (February 2018) and this report confirms what others have been saying.

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