Top HR Stories, New Canadian Laws and Wrongful Dismissal Cases Affecting Employers in BC
Each quarter, Spraggs Law publishes a curated selection of articles about trending HR and employment-related topics. This quarter, we include a recap of 2023’s top HR stories and 2024 HR predictions. We also cover new Canadian laws coming into effect this year before wrapping up with two precarious wrongful dismissal cases in BC.
The Top HR Stories From 2023
The ten most popular HR stories last year
Benefits Canada released an article outlining the Top 10 HR Stories of 2023. Top stories that made the list include a debate on whether Canada should have flexible working laws, the impact of updates to the Canada Labour Code, and the potential benefits of “bare minimum workdays.”
A Look Ahead. Predicting HR Trends
HR’s adoption of AI
According to a report by McLean & Company, In 2024, Generative AI will play a big role in HR teams, increasing productivity and enhancing employee experience. HR will also focus on optimizing hybrid work, attracting and retaining talent, and prioritizing employee experience.
New Canadian Laws Coming Into Effect This Year
New laws are expected to affect employees and employers
Canada will see several new laws and rules come into effect in 2024. HR and business-related updates and changes include CPP increases for employees and employers, reporting obligations for “private companies and government entities” under a Modern Slavery Act, accessibility plan requirements from employers, improvements in pay equity policies and more.
Two Precarious Wrongful Dismissal Cases
An email that didn’t warrant dismissal
Email and text communication may be great for keeping a record of communication, but it can also easily lead to misunderstanding when it comes to intention and tone. Case and point: An employee in British Columbia was fully dismissed after sending a “strongly worded” email. The employee was terminated by her employer, who claimed “the email created an irreconcilable breakdown in the employment relationship.” However, the BC Supreme Court ruled that the email was direct but not rude or unprofessional and did not warrant immediate dismissal and awarded the former employee $81,100 in damages.
Secret recordings that did
Last April, we covered another surreptitious recording case illustrating the potential risks and consequences employees are subject to when making secret recordings. In this example, a former financial analyst at BC company lost his wrongful dismissal case after it was discovered that he had secretly recorded over 130 conversations with his superiors and colleagues. The recordings were made to allegedly prove discrimination, but the court ruled that they violated the trust between the employee and the employer. The court’s decision highlights the importance of trust in the employer/employee relationship and the need for solid policies around privacy and ethics in the workplace.
Do You Have HR or Employment Law Related Questions?
Please note: This article does not contain legal advice. If you would like advice on your specific situation, please contact Spraggs Law.