News briefs

KPMG faces $20-million suit; Saskatchewan tackles workplace bullying; Grits promise February holiday; N.B. law to stop ‘double breasting’; Commissioner objects to PIPEDA ‘work product’ change; India recognizes Canadian doctors

KPMG faces $20-million suit

Toronto — Accounting firm KPMG is facing a $20-million unpaid overtime class-action suit, which comes on the heels of the landmark $600-million suit filed against CIBC in June. The statement of claim, filed with the Ontario Superior Court by law firm Juroviesky and Ricci LLP, says KPMG supervisors regularly required employees to work 90-hour weeks while only billing clients for 60 hours. The suit covers employees such as lawyers, non-chartered accountant staff and other employees who worked more than 44 hours in a week and were apparently not paid overtime.

Saskatchewan tackles workplace bullying

Regina — Saskatchewan has passed legislation to expand the definition of workplace ¬harassment. The new definition, which takes effect Oct. 1, includes personal harassment in the workplace, such as abuse of power and bullying. The legislation also allows for the appointment of an independent adjudicator to hear appeals arising from harassment complaints.

Grits promise February holiday

Toronto — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has promised if the Liberals win the provincial election on Oct. 10 they will introduce a new three-day weekend in February. The “family day” holiday would give Ontario workers a total of nine statutory holidays per year, putting the province on par with Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Territories.

N.B. law to stop ‘double breasting’

Fredericton — The New Brunswick government is considering changes to the Industrial Relations Act that would prevent employers from skimping on their obligations to employees under collective bargaining agreements by creating new businesses in name only — a practice known as “double breasting.” The government is holding public hearings on Oct. 17 and 18.

Commissioner objects to PIPEDA ‘work product’ change

Ottawa — Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is ¬objecting to the exclusion of work-product from the definition of personal information under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In its report on the five-year review of the act, the standing committee on Access to Information Privacy and Ethics recommended work product be excluded. The exclusion could lead to more employee surveillance and intrusive workplace monitoring without any privacy protection, said Stoddart.

India recognizes Canadian doctors

New Delhi — India will soon recognize medical degrees from universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada. This recognition will make it easier for doctors from those countries to work in Indian hospitals. While only unilateral recognition has been granted, India is seeking bilateral recognition so India-trained doctors will be recognized in the other countries.

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