Robert Smithson

Smithson: Drug testing policy being tested again

Every few years a Canadian employer takes a run at the human rights-based rules preventing workplace drug and alcohol testing.

Smithson: Finding hope in path of sorrow

When something like the Newtown massacre happens, it’s difficult to know how to react or what to do.

Smithson: Bangladesh fire revives century-old memories

A recent fire in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a grim indicator of how little some countries have done to protect employees.

Ten year deal with teachers: Believe in the inconceivable

Many scoffed at that prospect of a 10-year collective agreement with B.C.'s unionized teachers.

Smithson: Unconscionable employment releases not binding

A form of release is to provide the employer with comfort that the individual will not commence future court actions.

Smithson: Disability gap can be a deep, costly chasm

Too little attention is given by employers to the value of the benefits lost as a result of an employee termination.

Diplomatic developments with Iran recall Canadian Caper

That 1979 Canadian Caper rescue effort ranks, in my lifetime at least, as one of the great, inspiring stories of workplace heroism.

Smithson: Collective bargaining process for new contract like skating uphill

The offers put forward by the league and the players appear as different as apples and oranges.

Smithson: Working hard, or hardly working?

The aspect of London 2012 which stood out in my mind was the controversy over athletes not trying hard enough.

Smithson: Limited-term job contracts can be trap for employers

Now is the time of year when many employers are filling out their seasonal workforce.

Smithson: Think twice before hiring your spouse

Robert Smithson says existing employees can become very unhappy when the owner's spouse is hired to work for the business.

Smithson: An historic example of unfair dismissal

In the history of questionable dismissals of employees, the saga of journalist Edward Kennedy has to rank near the top of the list.

Smithson: Identifying the three types of truth

The reality of our legal system is seeking the truth is reliant on fallible humans.

Smithson: Five things managers need to know

Employers commonly give department managers the authority to make employment-related decisions for their own staff.

Smithson: To give working notice, minus the work

Most employers likely believe an employee given notice of termination and who refuses to keep working has forfeited legal claim to damages.

Smithson: Write your own reference letter

Perhaps surprisingly, it isn’t always the money which is the stumbling block to reaching a settlement.

Smithson: Making the call on workplace cell phone abuse

Of all the technological developments that cause a loss of workplace attentiveness, the cell phone must be the undisputed champion.