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Kelly Van Buskirk: Ignore workplace safety at your peril

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

In March of 2008, a lot of employer heads were turned by the first ever Canadian criminal conviction in an Occupational Health & Safety case. If you are running a business, you should know that one quick decision to cut corners could end up killing someone, costing your company a lot of money and landing you in jail.

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Kelly VanBuskirk: A wrongful dismissal case that's making waves

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Well, employer circles are all abuzz about this week's hearing of the groundbreaking Honda case in the Supreme Court of Canada. Every business owner should be staying tuned over the next few months to find out how our country's highest court decides the issues which have been raised by the automaker and its dismissed employee, Kevin Keays.

In case you don't remember, Honda Canada fired Kevin Keays a few years ago, after his medical disability prevented him from complying with the company's attendance management program and after he questioned the utility of meeting with yet another company doctor.

The trial judge who presided over Keays' wrongful dismissal claim really threw the book at the company: he ordered Honda to pay close to one and a half months of salary compensation for every year that Keays had been employed, along with a huge punitive damages award of $500,000 and an award of legal costs and expenses which amounted to more than $600,000 more!

Although the Ontario Court of Appeal wound the penalty damages portion of the whole mess back to $100,000, the result was still bad enough that Honda put the case in front of the Supreme Court of Canada on February 20th. The company is asking the Supreme Court to erase much of the damage it suffered in the Ontario courts.

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Kelly VanBuskirk: Human rights, biometrics and the anti-Christ

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Due to popular demand, I've decided to tell you the recent and shocking human rights story of a company, its biometric security system and the anti-Christ.

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Kelly VanBuskirk: Protect your employees or pay the price

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

It would not come as a surprise to most employers that harassment in the workplace can be disruptive and difficult to deal with. But, as one recent case from Prince Edward Island demonstrates, employers who fail to take care of their own may end up paying a costly price.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gael Matheson was a Presbyterian minister in P.E.I. Reverend Matheson was the minister for four isolated communities in rural P.E.I. During the late 1980s she was subject to sexual harassment by a member of her parish. At the same time, she was receiving anonymous threatening letters from a parishioner who did not believe women should be ordained.

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Kelly VanBuskirk: When employees jump to the competition

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Lately, Ken Langdon has been better known for making news than for publishing it. As of last week, though, all of that may begin to change. On November 2nd, the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench rejected a request made by Langdon’s former employer for an order to prevent the newspaper executive from soliciting advertisers for a competing paper.

The Ken Langdon story is one that employers from across Canada should find interesting.

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Kelly VanBuskirk: Perils of going into business with friends, family

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

This is the story of two couples who dreamed of escaping the rat race. They had been long time friends who, in the summer of 2003, decided to go into business together.

Like many other examples of friends who form business partnerships, this is a case in which too little attention was paid to details at the beginning of the relationship and that led to too many legal problems at the end.

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