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Annual Labour Law Update: The latest cases and legislative developments by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society

January 25 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

In this session, experts will explore recent noteworthy developments in labour law. Panelists will address questions including:

  • What lessons can be learned from recent cases addressing government involvement in collective bargaining? When will legislation or other government actions which impact collective bargaining be found to be unconstitutional?
  • When will an employee’s off-duty conduct be grounds for discipline or discharge? Is an employer entitled to discipline or demote an employee for expressing unpopular or controversial views?
  • How have arbitrators approached the use of emerging workplace technologies which may have privacy implications? When will such technologies be considered to impermissibly infringe employee privacy?
  • In what circumstances have employers upheld substance use policies or testing as reasonable? What aspects of these policies or practices are more likely to render them reasonable in the eyes of arbitrators or adjudicators?
  • How have arbitrators approached the interpretation of collective agreement language when determining whether the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation must be treated as a holiday under the parties’ agreement?
  • What trends are evident in recent damage awards for employees subject to discrimination or harassment? What trends are discernible in recent discipline and discharge cases?
  • What noteworthy federal and provincial legislation has been introduced regarding privacy and surveillance, leave and holiday entitlements, non-disclosure agreements, pay transparency, health and safety, and use of replacement workers? What are the implications for workplaces of Canada’s ratification of the ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 and recent federal legislation dealing with forced labour? What steps should employers and unions take to prepare for or ensure continued compliance with these laws?