Canada’s biggest HR controversies of 2015

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HRM takes a look at every HR-storm from the second half of 2015 – from Starbuck’s $1 million employee lawsuit to Bell’s seven-figure fine. 

July

Major buyout offer for Tim Hortons employees

Fifteen per cent of the total workforce – and almost all corporate employees – were offered the deal in mid-July.

Swift sacking for homophobic college professor

One academic’s shocking comment sparked outrage on social media with many users calling for his immediate dismissal.

Calgary employer apologizes following public outrage

The company faced criticism after one worker was seen verbally and racially abusing a taxi driver.

August

Former steelworkers win key pension battle

Retired Hamilton steelworkers welcomed a new court decision that protects the place of pensioners in the queue of creditors for U.S. Steel Canada

HR vice president names in Canadian sexual harassment suit

Mid-August saw a one leading industry professional involved in a sexual harassment allegation from a former premier of Ontario.

HR warned to beware ‘cheater lists’ after Ashley Madison hack

Canadian HR teams were advised to dust off their suicide prevention manuals and prepare for HR department-focused scams

September

Starbucks Canada faces $1M employee lawsuit

In early September, former barista Shannon Mishimagi launched a six-figure lawsuit against java-giant Starbucks, alleging a supervisor had assaulter and threatened her.

October:

Jian Ghomeshi enters plea

The disgraced former broadcaster pleaded not guilty to five charges on October 1.

Major Canadian retailer caught up in racism row

In a rare positive decision for a racial profiling case, Shoppers Drug Mart was ordered to pay $8,000 to one persecuted customer.

Bell fined $1.25M for fake employee reviews

Just two weeks later, on October 14, Canada’s largest telecommunications company was given a seven figure fine after execs posted positive reviews about a company app online.

November

Canadian company sparks international outrage

A Toronto-based web-design business made news for all the wrong reasons thanks to a major HR faux-pas.

December

Canadian company faces six-figure fine over worker’s avoidable death 

An Ontario employer that failed to ensure the safety of its workforce was hit with a $150,000 fine
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