Privacy & Freedom of Information

On July 1, 2014, key components of Canada’s “anti-spam legislation” came into force, but the full impact is still uncertain, particularly with respect to labour relations communications.  Our colleague, William Watson, has posted an interesting article on this in his blog, The Legal Playing Field Click here to read.

In Evans v Bank of Nova Scotia, an employee of the Bank of Nova Scotia (“Bank”), Richard Wilson, provided highly confidential information about the Bank’s customers to his girlfriend, who disseminated the information to third parties for fraudulent purposes.  On June 6, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice certified a class action brought on behalf of the affected customers, alleging that they were victims of identity theft and fraud as a result of the intrusion upon seclusion.

This is the province’s first-ever class action involving the new tort of “intrusion upon seclusion”, which allows individuals to advance a civil claim for damages against an intruder who intentionally invades their privacy, without legal justification, in a manner that is highly offensive to the reasonable person.
Continue Reading “Intrusion Upon Seclusion” Class Action Certified in Ontario

In Bernard v Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 13, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that employee privacy rights do not override a union’s right to receive the information that it requires to fulfill its representational duties.  Accordingly, employers may be required to disclose information that will allow a certified union to contact members of its bargaining unit at home, and failure to do so may constitute an unfair labour practice.


Continue Reading Privacy in the Labour Relations Context: Union Entitled to Contact Employee at Home

In Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34 [“Irving”], the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) issued a landmark decision concerning workplace drug and alcohol testing. Irving strikes a new balance between the competing interests of employee privacy and workplace safety.
Continue Reading Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing: Current Best Practices