We have written over the past two years about a growing wave of significant lawsuits in Canada against corporations for alleged international labour and human rights violations in their overseas operations or supply chains. As we have reported, Canada’s judiciary is demonstrating a willingness to expand their jurisdictional reach to permit such claims to proceed. Canadian judges are keeping an open mind as to whether a novel duty of care exists between multinational companies and the upstream foreign supply chain workers or the local residents affected by their operations. Continue Reading Door Still Open? Canada As Safe Harbour For Multinational Human Rights Litigation

A lawsuit brought by several Guatemalans for alleged damages suffered during a 2013 protest at the Escobal silver mine in San Rafael Las Flores has cleared a final hurdle and will now proceed to trial in British Columbia. Continue Reading BC Trial on Alleged Human Rights Violations by Canadian Mining Company in Guatemala Can Proceed

To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2016: Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2016

On July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that most federally-regulated, non-union employees can only be dismissed for “just cause” after 12 consecutive months of service (Wilson v. Atomic Energy, 2016 SCC 29). As a result of this decision, it is now clear that employees who are regulated under Part III of the Canada Labour Code cannot, following their first year of employment, simply be provided with termination notice or pay in lieu, absent a compelling reason for terminating the employment relationship. Continue Reading Supreme Court of Canada: A Dismissal “Without Cause” is an “Unjust Dismissal” (Part III of the Canada Labour Code)

We recently discussed the rising number of claims against Canadian companies for alleged human rights violations in their overseas operations or supply chains. In that article we described the ongoing class action lawsuit against Loblaws and Joe Fresh launched by Bangladeshi garment workers in response to the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Click here for a link to the article.

We also commented on a general increase in litigation against Canadian multinational corporations, including the current case against Toronto-based, Hudbay Minerals Inc., which was brought by a group of indigenous Guatemalan Mayans for human rights violations related to a mining venture.

The reputational risks associated with these cases are serious, particularly in the age of online media and investor activism. On April 3, 2016, The New York Times published a front-page article on the Hudbay Minerals Inc. case entitled, ‘Outcry Echoes Up to Canada’. Continue Reading Global Human Rights Compliance & Litigation Update: Hudbay Minerals Inc. Lawsuit Receives International Media Coverage

In today’s rapidly changing world of workplace compliance, global organizations must not only comply with the laws of their headquarters but also the laws of the countries where their workforces and even their suppliers operate. Many seemingly compliant organizations face unseen global workplace and supply chain compliance risks, causing great concern among corporate leaders. In addition to potential harm to workers, failing to manage global workplace risks can have a significant, long-lasting impact on business strategies, legal risk profile and brand reputations. How can you help “save the day” for your company?

Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar – How to Be Your Company’s Superhero: Managing Your Global Workplace and Supply Chain Compliance

On January 11, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS“) heard oral arguments in Freidrichs v California Teachers Association. If questions from the bench are any indication of the Court’s perspective on the matter, public sector unions in the United States may be in trouble.

Freidrichs considers whether California State law requiring non-union members to pay “agency fees” violates the first amendment right to freedom of speech. Agency fees are charged to cover the cost of services performed by the union on behalf of all employees – in particular, collective bargaining activities.

Continue Reading What if I Don’t Want to Join the Club: Skepticism Rising on Mandatory (Public) Union Fees

Join Baker & McKenzie on January 27, 2016 for the second half of a special, 2-part webinar series, which will focus on key updates in the US and around the globe. Drawing on the legal talent of Baker & McKenzie’s global employment team, the webinars will feature a panel of top lawyers discussing major developments in 2015 and trends to watch for in 2016.

Click here to register.

(Canadian businesses with U.S. & international operations should consider this webinar.)

2014 has been yet another active year for employers, with significant labor and employment developments in the U.S. Now is the time for employers to update their employment handbooks, policies, and internal company practices to reflect both Federal and state developments from this past year, and for U.S. multinational companies to sharpen their employment-related business strategies for 2015.

Continue Reading Navigating U.S. and International Employment Laws (Webinar)