PEI amends legislation on whistleblowers

Amendment broadens prohibited acts of employers against whistleblowers

PEI amends legislation on whistleblowers
Prince Edward Island’s Bill 114, which received royal assent July 14, strengthens protections for whistleblowers.

Prince Edward Island has introduced legislation strengthening the protections in favour of whistleblowers.

Bill 114, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act (No.4), received royal assent on July 14. The Act prohibits employers from discriminating or from taking reprisal against an employee on account of the employee’s actions in reporting or threatening to report to a lawful authority an actual or potential offence by the employer.

The employer also cannot discriminate or take reprisal against an employee who testifies, or who is asked to give testimony, in an investigation or proceeding pursuant to provincial legislation or federal legislation. Threats of reprisal and discrimination are likewise banned.

While the previous iteration of the provision made discrimination a prohibited act, Bill 114 further safeguards whistleblowers by also prohibiting the taking of reprisal, as well as threats to take reprisal or to discriminate, against the whistleblower.

The Bill, however, provides an exception, which is when the employee’s actions in reporting or threatening to report an actual or potential offence, or when the employee’s actions in giving testimony in an investigation or proceeding, are found to be frivolous or vexatious.

The lawful authority contemplated in the legislation can either be police, a law enforcement agency or an individual directly or indirectly tasked with supervising the employee.

In a prior amendment to the Employment Standards Act, PEI also provided for a new leave of absence, which is available to employees who are unable to perform their work duties due to an emergency declared by the province. This emergency leave is available until the day that the emergency has ended or the day that the emergency is no longer stopping the employee from fulfilling their work duties.

PEI introduced the emergency leave in Bill 38, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act (No.3), which received royal assent on June 18.

Related stories

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered on a regular basis, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Going beyond the associate-partner path, Dentons’ “Career Playbook” aims to keep associates engaged

Canada leads in global mining mergers and acquisitions as sector sees signs of a rebound: Fasken

The Canadian Lawyer annual Corporate Counsel Survey is back

Groups urge dismissal of Canada’s application to stay Safe Third Country Agreement decision

Doctor’s poor communication skills may amount to unprofessionalism and require remediation: case

Roundup of law firm hires, promotions and departures: Oct. 28 update

Most Read Articles

What corporate lawyers really do: Konata Lake on why he loves what he does at Torys

Former lawyers file complaint with Manitoba Human Right Commission over courthouse accessibility

Appellant’s conduct signalled agreement to pre-incorporation contract, SCC finds

Big Deals Roundup: July to September 2020