R v. Cole Update: Supreme Court of Canada grants leave to appeal

December 9, 2011

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal in R. v. Cole, a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal.  As previously discussed here, R. v. Cole was notable from an employment perspective for the Court’s determination that where certain factors are present, employees may have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the contents of employer-provided electronic devices.   While R. v. Cole may not directly apply to private sector employers given that it arose out of a criminal proceeding involving a Charter claim, the Supreme Court’s ruling will likely influence the legal considerations of this issue moving forward.  As such, it remains prudent for employers to implement properly drafted internet and electronic use policies, particularly regarding electronic devices. We will provide an update upon the release of the Supreme Court decision, which is not expected until sometime in 2013.

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