Privacy and employment

August 9, 2023

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Hébert C. Quebec Government Professional Association2022 QCCAI 300

Read more about this incident: Hébert C. Quebec Government Professional Association2022 QCCAI 300


The applicant is an employee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Industry (MAPAQ) and claimed to have been the victim of psychological harassment by his superiors and colleagues. She filed a complaint against her employer for psychological harassment. The Syndicate of Professional Governments of Quebec (SPPGQ) represented the applicant in his complaint. An investigator was appointed to investigate the complaint and prepare a report. The applicant has applied to her SPPGQ to obtain access to this report and any other reports or documents relevant to the complaint. Access to 10 documents was denied. The applicant also requested that her identity be anonymized in this decision, given the sensitivity of the information contained therein.


CAI partially reversed MAPAQ’s decision.Article 13 Law on the protection of personal information in the private sector It is stipulated that personal information can only be disclosed to a third party if the person in question consents to the disclosure. Some of the documents submitted as part of the applicant’s complaint analysis included communications between various MAPAQ employees. Plaintiff’s name does not appear on any of these communications, and Plaintiff’s name is not copied on the mailings. This document contains facts, opinions, and perceptions regarding specific events and matters during the third party’s business, which CAI has determined constitutes personal information about the third party. Personal information cannot be disclosed without the consent of the third party.

Important points

Opinions expressed by one person about another person regarding that person’s skills, opinions, choices, or work practices are personal information for both the person expressing the opinion and the person to whom the opinion is directed. Therefore, such information will not be disclosed except with the consent of the third party concerned. For organizations that hold this type of information, we recommend identifying subjective ratings as such and separating them from factual compilations and strictly objective records of personal information.

Advanced Upstream Co., Ltd., Re2023 Carswell Alta 630

Read more about this incident: Advanced Upstream Co., Ltd., Re2023 Carswell Alta 630


The complainant was a former employee of Advanced Upstream Ltd. Their employment contracts contained non-solicitation clauses that remained in effect for 12 months after termination of employment. Advanced Upstream learned that Complainant was providing services to a competitor and sent a letter to the competitor through its attorney. This letter notified competitors that Complainant may be in violation of the restrictive covenants. After receiving the letter, the competitor notified Advanced Upstream that it had consulted with Complainant and had decided not to hire Complainant. When the complainant learned that the letter had been sent, he filed a complaint accusing Advanced Upstream of disclosing his personal information. Advanced Upstream subsequently reported the unauthorized breach of PIPA, but continued to claim that the disclosure violated its privacy rights.


The Commission first noted that the letter was in the form of a disclosure letter that included Complainant’s name, the fact that Complainant was employed by Advanced Upstream in a specific position, address, signature, and non-profit and charitable activities. I discovered that it contained personal information. activities, other business activities, ownership of other business entities, and his marital status and names of his partners. The Commission subsequently found that Complainant had consented to the disclosure of personal information through a clause in the employment contract that provided for consent to the disclosure of employee personal information for the continued operation of the company. . Finally, the Committee considered whether the disclosure was reasonable as required by section 19 of PIPA, noting that while the purpose of the disclosure is reasonable for a company seeking to avoid a breach of an employment contract, in particular the scope of the disclosure is I judged it to be unreasonable. Disclose the complainant’s address, marital status, spouse’s name, signature, and conflicts of interest.

Important points

An organization that handles personal information may contact competitors to protect non-competitive and non-competitive interests, but in doing so may not include material that is not necessary to protect those interests. You must ensure that any personal information you provide is redacted or not otherwise disclosed. .

Direct energy regulation services, Re2023 Carswell Alta 629

Read more about this incident: Direct energy regulation services, Re2023 Carswell Alta 629


Under a site vacancy agreement (PVA), the property owner (the complainant) was required to provide contact information to the energy services company (the organization). Sixteen years after the property was sold, the organization contacted the plaintiffs. The complainant complained that the organization had not complied with Article 35 of PIPA (Retention and destruction of information).


The organization complied with PIPA because the information was exempt under section 4(3)(d) of the Act. Given that Article 4(3)(d) exempts the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, it must exempt, at least to some extent, the retention of that information. In the broader context of receiving energy services from the organization, the claimant’s business responsibility to the organization ended when the property was sold, but the requirement that the claimant contact the organization to terminate the PVA remained. .

Important points

Section 4(3)(d) of PIPA exempts business contact information from being retained so long as it is retained for the purposes set out in that section. That is, to enable us to contact individuals in connection with their business responsibilities and for no other purpose.

Saskatchewan Health Authority, Re2023 CarswellSask 44

Read more about this incident: Saskatchewan Health Authority, Re2023 CarswellSask 44,


An employee filed a complaint after his employer, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, posted a notice on a whiteboard stating that the employee was on medical leave. The employee claimed that the disclosure of his personal health information violated his privacy rights.


The Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commission agreed with the employee and found that the employer breached its duty to protect the employee’s personal health information. As a result, when a manager shares an employee’s personal health information with the office’s administrative staff, when the office’s administrative staff records an employee’s personal health information on the attendance whiteboard, when the staff member shares the employee’s personal health information on the whiteboard, It was determined that a privacy violation occurred when viewing personal health information.

Important points

This case highlights the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of medical information and the need for employers to have clear policies and procedures in place to ensure the protection of such information. It also emphasizes the importance of privacy rights and the importance of employers taking appropriate steps to protect personal health information in the workplace.

Livingston v. Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission2022 SKCA 127

Read more about this incident: Livingston v. Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission2022 SKCA 127


The appellant appealed the court’s decision invalidating his action on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and abuse of process. The original complaint concerned a violation of privacy in employment human rights matters. The appellant and his union allege that his workplace, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, breached his obligations of privacy and procedural fairness when it investigated and disclosed his employment matters to his co-workers. did.


The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and held that the Chamber judge did not err in holding that the material issue concerned employment and was therefore within the jurisdiction of the arbitrator as provided for in the workplace collective agreement. Specifically, the nature of appellant’s claims for invasion of privacy arose from employment. The court said such human rights issues have been considered and incorporated into collective bargaining agreements. The court also cited a Supreme Court of Canada decision. Weber vs. Ontario Hydro and Northern Regional Health Authority v. Horrocks This judgment held that courts with inherent jurisdiction are subject to residual discretionary jurisdiction and cannot address issues related to collective bargaining agreements.

Important points

Privacy issues arising from employment concerns may be subject to jurisdictional limitations established by collective bargaining agreements.

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