Employers would be well-advised to review and update their
privacy policies and procedures after the Federal Court of
Canada's recent decision in Landry v. Royal Bank of
In Landry, (summarized in more detail here) Royal Bank was ordered to pay
damages to a customer under the Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) for the
humiliation she suffered after a Bank employee disclosed the
customer's account information without her consent, in
made despite the fact that the Court found that the injury suffered
by the complaining customer was, at least in part, "the result
of her own actions" and that ultimately the information would
have been disclosed pursuant to a subpoena. Even though the error
was not found to have been made in bad faith, the seriousness of
the mistake was sufficient to support a damage award of $4,500,
While the damage award in Landry was nominal, the
decision demonstrates the Federal Court is willing to award
monetary damages for breaches of PIPEDA. This case should serve as
a reminder to employers who are subject to PIPEDA to ensure that
they not only have privacy policies and procedures in place, but
also that employees are aware of the policies and act in accordance
with them. Further, when complaints do arise, employers would be
well-advised to act on them. Specifically, employers should ensure
that complaints are properly investigated and take appropriate
corrective measures in response to all complaints.
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.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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