January 31st has been designated ‘Bell Lets Talk Day’ in an attempt to recognize that we as a society need work on acknowledging mental illness. Mental illness is as real as physical illness. Just like physical illness, mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate against who it attacks. Statistically, in any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association website shares other startling statistics with respect to how common mental illness is amongst us. Initiatives like ‘Bells Lets Talk Day’ help reduce the stigma and resulting discrimination attached to mental illness. However, the reality is understanding and acceptance of mental illness in our society is not what it should be…. yet.Read More
Quite simply put, Notary Publics and Commissioner of Oaths are people who have been authorized by law to serve as an official witness to the signing of various legal documents. Notarizing a means that a Notary or Commissioner has taken the proper steps to verify your identity and then has witnessed your signing of a particular document. Afterwards they seal and sign the document to certify their witnessing of the signature.Read More
Ever wonder why some people have a ‘slip and fall’ and get a big payout from the business owner where the fall happened, but some people, and sometimes those hurt far worse, don’t get anything?
Most often these situations are governed by the Occupiers Liability Act, although the common law rule of negligence may also apply. Under the Act, the ‘occupier’, defined as the person who essentially has control over the premises (whether because they own it, rent it or for any other reason have physical control over the premises), has a duty to ensure that any person who legally enters the premises will be reasonably safe. The key word there is ‘reasonably’. Obviously no owner/occupier of a property can prevent every potential accident from happening, so the law draws a line between injuries that are as a result of unavoidable, unfortunate accident and which injuries should have been prevented by some action by the owner/occupier.
An unfortunate reality of today’s corporate world is restructuring, outsourcing and downsizing. For many hard-working employees, the result is lay-offs. One day you go to the job you’ve devoted yourself to for years and the next you find yourself unemployed with a standardized letter letting you go, along with a request to sign a ‘Release’ in exchange for a severance package. You are reeling and have no idea if the package they are offering you is what you are entitled to. This is where an employment lawyer comes in. Many lawyers, including myself, are happy to meet with people in your shoes to review your situation and give some basic advice as to whether or not the severance package offered is within the acceptable range.Read More
Running your small business out of your home can be convenient and cost-effective options for many. If you’re moving and planning to operate your business out of your home. this blog outlines some important details to consider.Read More
George Costanza, on an episode of Seinfeld, dramatically quit his job during a meeting. Regretting his impulsive decision, he decides to act like it never happened and simply shows up to work the next day. As was often the case, things went badly for George and he did not get his job back.
Employment disputes can be very tricky to deal with because our work is a fundamental part of our identity. Not to mention that jobs are how we put food on the table and a roof over our head. To make matters worse, there are plenty of myths, out of context advice, and some just plain wrong information floating around out there.Read More
One of your valued employees just announced that she is pregnant. Undoubtedly this will have an impact on your business. Among the other pregnancy related conversations you should have with your employee, you should also be discussing breastfeeding – specifically, that you are aware that, as an employer, you have an obligation (and are willing) to accommodate the employee’s choice to breastfeed. Many employers don’t know what ‘accommodating’ involves or even why they should be forced to accommodate an employee who wishes to continue to breastfeed upon return to work (thinking, can’t they just give their baby some formula?)Read More
With school now officially out for the summer, seasonal jobs are in full swing. For many, particularly in the hospitality/tourism industry this means lots of overtime. Everyone understands the concept of overtime – working more than the standard 40 hours a week, or is it 35 hours, or does it depend on the job? The NS Labour Standards Code outlines the rules that pertain to overtime and holiday wages for most hourly employees.Read More
Today is International Women’s Day. I’ve never considered myself a feminist – I’ve honestly always thought that as a female, if you want something, you can work hard and achieve it, just like your male counterpart. I reflected on what today means to me, particularly as a female litigation lawyer who has had children in recent years. It occurred to me that there are certainly some challenges that female lawyers face that simply aren’t an issue for the men.Read More