Business owners in Alberta deal with contracts and agreements almost daily. New employees are often required to sign noncompetition agreements, but what is the purpose of such a document? Although such a contract can be signed between any two business individuals, in most cases it involves an employer and employee.
Bullying is an issue in many Alberta workplaces. It is a form of harassment that involves verbal comments or actions that intend to isolate a co-worker. It can also include unwanted physical contact, and repeated actions can intimidate, humiliate, degrade and offend the victim. In some cases, it could develop into aggression, but it is not always easy to differentiate between harassment and powerful management tactics.
As from the start of this year, safety authorities in Alberta followed the lead of other provinces in prohibiting business owners and employers from enforcing footwear rules that could be harmful to employees. Women in Alberta workplaces are particularly grateful for this rule that will stop harassment by employers and supervisors to force them to wear high heel shoes. Amendments were made to the Occupational Health and Safety Code that will only allow mandatory footwear for safety purposes, such as steel-tipped safety boots, and not for looks or the company's image.
Employees in Alberta with exceptional skills are often the subjects of poaching. However, would such a worker be allowed to accept an irresistible offer from his or her employer's opposition? Many business owners identify high-value employees with specialized skills and have them sign non-solicitation clauses to prevent losing valuable clients to an opposing company in the same market.
Anyone in Alberta who has been fired from a job will likely question the legality of the employer's actions. According to the Employment Standards Act, an employer should give a worker fair warning before termination of employment. For example, an employee who worked at a company for 10 years deserves 10 months' notice of an employer's intention to fire him or her. Otherwise, the fired worker must get 10 months' wages paid out -- not necessarily in one lump sum.
Employees in Alberta might find comfort in the fact that the Canadian government passed an act that will amend the harassment and violence section of the Canada Labour Code. The aim is to eliminate hostile work environments and to instill a zero tolerance for violence, harassment and any measure of unacceptable behaviour. Authorities say training on all levels of an organization is needed to bring about the culture change that is required to eradicate workplace harassment
Apple iOS upgrades sometimes have unexpected results. Its most recent upgrade includes Screen Time, a feature that allows iPhone users to track the amount of time they spend using their iPhone. The feature revealed some interesting statistics that may worry employers and force them to develop new employment policies.
Cannabis legalization is almost here. Employers are busily preparing rules to regulate cannabis use in their workplaces. Police and other employers whose duties affect public safety are finding it particularly difficult to draft policies for cannabis use that satisfy their employees and their obligations to the public.
Employers may get frustrated when they learn an employee has an alcohol or drug addiction that adversely affects their work. But Alberta’s human rights legislation prevents employers from just firing the employee.
The forthcoming legalization of cannabis across Canada has raised many questions amongst employers and employees alike. One of the most fierce debates has been over human rights concerns with regard to random testing for the substance. People driving or operating heavy machinery, such as oil workers and bus drivers in Alberta, have been a particular source of debate.