Technology enters the workplace in many ways and there are a number of risks and issues that employers need to consider.
- Cybersecurity and Data ProtectionA number of data breaches have been making headline news. These threats do not only come from criminal hackers or other external sources. Much of the risk around data security comes from the way employees manage company data. Instituting policies, practices and training around acceptable use, storage and retention of employer data, systems and property is key.
- Employee Misuse of Social MediaWhere there is a nexus between an employer and inappropriate content posted online by an employee, such conduct may provide a basis for employee discipline up to and including termination of employment. A number of recent cases demonstrate that terminating with just cause is possible, particularly when the post is harmful or potentially harmful to the employer.
- When Not to Discipline For Misuse of Social MediaWhile disciplining employees for misuse of social media is quite appropriate in many circumstances, on the other hand, we may find that Canada follows the U.S. trend in which some employees argue that social media posts are protected or that discipline is an unlawful reprisal under employment standards and other legislation.
- Privacy on Workplace ComputersEmployees will likely have some expectation of privacy on workplace computers where personal use is permitted. This expectation of privacy can be limited by way of computer use policies that provide for employer monitoring of workplace computers, where the employer has a legitimate need to conduct monitoring and where such monitoring is reasonable in scope. Such policies should be clearly communicated to employees.
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) ProgramsIn August 2015, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner and the B.C. Information & Privacy Commissioner issued joint guidance for organizations considering the implementation of BYOD programs, where employees are permitted to use personal mobile devices for both business and personal purposes. BYOD programs give rise to privacy and security risks that warrant careful consideration prior to rollout.
- Social Media Background ChecksPre-hire social media background checks may give rise to privacy concerns, including in respect of issues of consent, accuracy, over-collection of information, collection of irrelevant information and collection of the personal information of third parties. Such background checks must be reasonable in the circumstances of the employer’s operations and should be carried out in accordance with guidance from Canadian privacy commissioners.
- Educating Employees on E-DiscoveryGiven the growth of electronically stored information and a growing tendency for employees to email or text rather than use the telephone, it is important that employees understand that what they write may be produced in subsequent litigation.
- Protecting Your Client List from Employees’ Online PresenceWho owns the social media account? In this era of online networking, employees may leave their employment with a social media account that functions as a client list or company contact point. This may undermine contractual non-competition and non-solicitation covenants. To help manage risk in this respect, employers should establish corporate ownership of social media accounts that are used for business purposes, including by way of the employer’s social media policy.
- Updating PoliciesPolicies dealing with email, Internet, acceptable use, social media, electronic devices or BYOD, travel and passwords should regularly be reviewed and updated given the changing digital landscape. Education around phishing emails and other nefarious communications is also important.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Article by Andrea York and Brian Thiessen
CTV News Vancouver
With Canadians in a frenzy to get a piece of the U.S. Powerball draw, consumer advocates say people should exercise caution before forking out cash for tickets.
No one matched the Powerball numbers this weekend, meaning the already-record setting prize is now at an estimated $1.3-billion US – almost $2-billion Canadian.
The next draw is Wednesday, and the odds to win are close to one in 300 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
It’s expected that thousands of Canadians will cross the border to buy hard-copy tickets in advance of the draw, and many more will purchase tickets online using reselling agents.
While people in Canada can use third-party concierge sites to buy the tickets, what the resellers are doing is actually illegal in Washington State and federally.
For the most part, some states are turning a blind eye to the online sellers, but the Better Business Bureau warns that people should be careful using these agencies.
There are no current rules and regulations around these, says spokesperson Evan Kelly, adding that you have to trust the company is actually buying the ticket for you.
The BBB advises online buyers to take time and seek out legitimate ticket sale sites, and read user reviews before making a purchase. Look for Https:// in the web address and a lock icon in the website URL.
“It’s very easy to quickly set up a fake Powerball ticket website,” Kelly warned.
He says to be wary of sites that ask for information beyond a home address and credit card information.
“I’d be concerned if they’re asking for a Social Insurance Number. That’s a red flag,” said Kelly.
The safest way to buy tickets is actually driving to the U.S. and buying them in person, the agency says.
And Kelly adds that with astronomical odds of winning, people should think twice before “betting the farm” on lottery tickets.
“Statistics say you have a 25 times better chance of becoming President of the United States,” he said.
Canadians are eligible to win the grand prize, but will have to give up one-third to U.S. taxes before that cash is brought north of the border.
Graig Wong | The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – If you don’t have a budget, then financial planners want you to add another thing to your list of new year’s resolutions.
Credit counsellor Pamela George says budgeting is important no matter what your income.
“I think it is even more important for a bigger salary to have a budget because you need to account for it and you need to understand that $200,000 can finish as fast as $12,000,” said George, who works for the Credit Counselling Society in Ottawa.
Start with your paycheque. You need to know how much you are bringing in each month. Then list your mandatory expenses that you can’t really change, such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, car payments, insurance and debts.
George also includes savings and putting money aside for an emergency fund if you don’t already have one in the mandatory category.
“I take savings and put it under mandatory because it is mandatory that you save,” she said.
Then comes your discretionary spending for whatever you might have left over. Things that you have some flexibility with when it comes to your plan. Entertainment, dining out, a gym membership.
“These are all things you have a little more control over,” George said. “You can choose not to buy clothes one month. You can choose not to go to the movies.”
Jane Rooney, financial literacy leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, says tracking spending for a couple of weeks to find out how you’re actually spending money is important when building a budget.
“The more formal strategy allows people to see clearly where the income is coming in and where the expenses are going,” she said.
“Often people underplay where they’re spending the money.”
The FCAC offers several tools online to help plan a budget, including a comprehensive calculator, and helps detail how you spend your money.
Household debt has flirted with record levels in relation to income, fuelled by low interest rates and a boom in the housing market.
The importance of having a budget is especially important for those who have debt, especially bad debt like credit cards.
“Knowing to pay as much as you can on a credit card bill as often as you can if you cannot pay the balance in full is a really important tip,” Rooney said.
Having a budget doesn’t mean never buying a latte and a pastry on your way to work or always brown bagging your lunch.
But it does mean understanding what those things cost and whether or not you can afford them.
“There is a sense of freedom and a peace that I have because I work with a budget,” George said.
“The consequences of not having a budget is debt.”
Police are asking that anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 416-808-5204 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Alert: Toronto police have arrested Rohinie Bisesar, the 40-year-old woman accused of stabbing a stranger in a Shoppers Drug Mart in the city’s financial district last Friday. via National Post
Source: CBC News | Toronto
The Toronto Police Service released this surveillance photo of a woman they believe is involved in an unprovoked stabbing that sent another woman to hospital with life-threatening injuries Friday. (Toronto Police Service)
TORONTO – Rohinie Bisesar has three university degrees and glowing professional references on her LinkedIn page. She is also wanted by Toronto Police for allegedly stabbing a stranger at a downtown drugstore on Friday.
Police have identified the 40-year-old Toronto resident as the “violent and dangerous” suspect wanted for attempted murder in connection with an alleged unprovoked stabbing just before 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
The incident took place at a Shoppers Drug Mart in the underground PATH system underneath Wellington Street West.
Police claim Bisesar entered the store and “stabbed the victim without provocation.”
Andris Pone, who identified himself as a friend and colleague of Bisesar’s for about seven years, said he wanted the public to know that she is a “very calm individual” despite the allegations against her.
“What has been alleged is extremely, with a capital E, out of character for her,” he said. “I also want to tell Rohinie that she needs to turn herself in.”
The victim, who police said is in her late 20s, sustained life-threatening injuries and remains in hospital in critical condition.
“[The woman was] shopping when another woman, completely unknown to her, enters the store. [The suspect] produces a knife and she stabs her,” said Const. David Hopkinson.
“Our suspect then leaves the Shoppers Drug Mart. That woman was rushed to hospital in grave condition. She remains in grave condition.”
“I believe that she was stabbed in a vital organ … I don’t think things could be much worse for her.”
On Sunday, police released surveillance images they say show Rohinie Bisesar before the alleged stabbing took place.
Bisesar is known to frequent the Financial District. Her LinkedIn page claims she is an advisor and investor in Toronto, with references publicly mentioning her “hard work and determination” and “warmth and interpersonal skills.”
The profile also states she has an MBA in finance, a BAS in general management, a BSc in molecular biology, a certificate in mining, and a Canadian Securities Course certification.
Pone said he received a text message from a mutual friend about the incident and was “completely and utterly shocked” to hear of what had allegedly happened.
“Rohinie is a very gentle person, she speaks in a whisper,” he said.
“Physically she is tiny, she might be 5”1’ in heels and I would be exaggerating if I said she weighed 90 pounds.”
Pone said Bisesar was “highly educated,” “a professional career woman” and a “sophisticated individual.”
“I don’t know what has happened with her but it’s just so incredibly out of character,” he said. “I just think it’s important for the police and public to know that.”
Hopkinson said investigators are urging Bisesar to contact a lawyer and turn herself in.
Police are asking that anyone with information about the incident to contact them at 416-808-5204 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Source: Canadian Press
By Paola Loriggio
THE CANADIAN PRESS
TORONTO _ Canadians are preparing to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees set to arrive in the coming weeks even as the exact dates of the government-arranged flights remain a mystery.
Temporary processing centres have been set up to handle the waves of newcomers at Toronto’s Pearson airport and Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport and officials say both facilities will be ready in time for the first arrivals, some of whom could come within days.
By the time the refugees leave the airports, they’ll have received permanent residency, a social insurance number and information on working in Canada, as well as a boxed meal and translators on hand to help as needed, federal officials say.
Weary parents and restless children will be able to recover from their travels parents in in rows of seating, kids in a play area equipped with stuffed animals and other toys.
The goal is to make refugees’ first experiences in their new country warm and welcoming, said Heidi Jurisic, the Greater Toronto Area director for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The whole process should take about three hours for those arriving on a small flight, Jurisic said.
Privately sponsored refugees will then be taken to the families awaiting them, while those sponsored by the government will be brought to temporary accommodations.
“We will ensure that after their first arrival that we have transportation available and that we assist them to where they are going to be going next in their journey in Canada, but we want to make sure that their first arrival in Canada is one where they feel very welcome,” she said.
Many Canadians have rallied to help the incoming refugees, but those eager to greet them on arrival would do better to channel their energy into other efforts, she said.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity of Canadians that want to do everything they can to be welcoming but … we aren’t going to be having external organizations and others coming into the terminal in order to provide services,” she said.
Provincial officials also said Tuesday they’re getting ready to roll out the welcome mat.
Ontario Immigration Minister Michael Chan and Health Minister Eric Hoskins were to hold a special advisory meeting on refugees Tuesday afternoon with various government and community organizations to discuss housing, education and health-care planning for the refugees.
Hoskins said Ontario has a well-established network of settlement agencies, so the province is ready to receive them.
“I have confidence because we do this each year with the help of our community organizations for 12,000 refugees year after year,” Hoskins said.
“This is roughly the same number, obviously over a shorter period of time, but that’s why we’ve been doing the hard work that we’ve been doing over these past weeks.”
In Montreal, two Quebec cabinet ministers urged employers in the province to do what they can to hire some of the refugees.
Labour Minister Sam Hamad and Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil held a news conference alongside representatives of business groups.
Martine Hebert, vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said about 66,000 jobs currently need to be filled in Quebec.
At a separate news conference, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced a hotline for citizens wanting to help the refugees and said he expects housing to be a major issue as the refugees begin arriving.
Coderre also defended the hiring of a former deputy federal immigration minister to head the city’s integration effort.
Michel Dorais will make $1,800 a day on a short-term contract to manage the influx, with the city taking in about 85 per cent of the Quebec-bound refugees.
City unions have complained they could have done the job, but Coderre says Dorais is uniquely qualified to handle the task.
Dorais said his job will try to put together a mechanism the mayors can use.
“It’s always unprecedented,” he said about the task. “What we need to understand is this has an international, national, provincial, municipal and very local dynamic that is developing.”