Trademark owners, don’t get lost in translation

This article originally appeared in the April-May 2020 issue of Canadian Lawyer InHouse magazine.

They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The same is true for business names and trademarks. In our globalized economy, these can take on new and unintended meanings in other markets, sometimes with damaging results.

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Supreme Court confirms that workplace safety can supersede freedom of religion

In October 2019, we reported that the Quebec Court of Appeal dismissed the application of three Sikh truckers who challenged a company policy requiring them to wear a safety helmet over their turban in certain circumstances.

This decision is now final since, on April 30, 2020, their application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was dismissed without reasons, as is the norm in such circumstances.

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Will all your employees be needed when businesses reopen? If not, the legal framework for collective dismissals should be considered

In Quebec, as elsewhere, the COVID-19 crisis is profoundly disrupting many workplaces. The measures taken to limit the spread of the virus have shut down many activities and had a significant impact on businesses. Even some businesses that were able to continue operating because they were deemed essential have been forced to lay off workers because of the downturn in the overall economy. In Quebec, following the declaration of a health emergency on March 13, 2020, the province’s unemployment rate grew by 3.6% to reach 8.1% in March 2020. In April 2020, this rate jumped to 17% – the highest unemployment rate among Canadian provinces and the highest rate recorded in Quebec since 1976.

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Change management post-COVID-19

With the gradual resumption of economic activity in the province as announced by the Government of Quebec, most businesses are facing a range of challenges associated with implementing measures to protect the health and safety of their workers. Some employers may have to put certain business activities on hold or even start new ones in order to keep their enterprise going.

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