Wednesday, April 14, 2021

'Rona in the Great White North

My last post was about 'rona restrictions in Britain, here's an anecdote from Canada:

Michelle Dionne was excited about her new job, helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by doing extra cleaning in an elementary school in Darwell, Alta. — about 85 kilometres west of Edmonton.

But last October, after being on the job for about six weeks, her boss at the cleaning company sent out a companywide message — telling employees to download an app on their personal phones that would check their location and ensure they were working their scheduled hours.

Dionne found the request offensive and refused.

"I was at the school working so that I could provide for my son," she told Go Public. "We're not thieves. We don't need an ankle monitor."

Less than two months later, the single mom was fired — her refusal to download the app was mentioned in her letter of termination.

Does it seem right to you that your employer can require you to use your own belongings to help them surveil you???  If you want to track me, use your own darned equipment! 

Other Canadians have been asked to download software that helps employers remotely monitor their productivity — such as phone apps that register an employee's location via GPS, and software that monitors the activity of their computer mouse. Others have tracking devices in their vehicles. 

It's prompting some employment lawyers Go Public consulted to sound the alarm.

Is personal privacy even a thing in Canada? 

The first time I visited Canada was with a friend from my high school days.  As soon as the landing gear touched down in Vancouver, my friend said to me half-joking half-serious, "Darren, we no longer have our constitutional rights."  Consider the implications of that.


Anna A said...

Not surprised, unfortunately. In both countries, police broke up Good Friday Services. In Canada, the church has been fenced so that people can't get in. The impression that I get is that they are worshiping in secret.

Anonymous said...

Most people get this wrong. Constitutional rights only apply to the government. The United States generally applies the doctrine that if an employee does not like an employers demands, they are free to quit. We do have some general employment protections in the US, but there are far fewer of those than most people realize, and these protections do not come from the constitution.

Workers without a union have very few rights.

Darren said...

I wasn't implying that this would be a First Amendment violation, merely that Canada doesn't have a First Amendment--thus, such personal violations are more understandable in such a place.

Pseudotsuga said...

Workers with a union can be forced to pay money to people who do not actually represent their ideology or interests.
(American Federation of Teachers: we're looking at you here. Your usefulness was mainly in deciding what or who NOT to vote for, since you are committed leftists.)

Ellen K said...

But Canada is a socialist paradise. All the cool kids say so!

Darren said...

Pseudotsuga: Not since the Janus decision, they can't!

Ellen K: I love going to Canada, but I always marvel how they can share over 3000 miles of border with us and yet be much more like Europe.