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2017

Long-term construction employees may be entitled to reasonable notice of termination

Generally, construction employees are not entitled to termination or severance pay under the Employment Standards Act (the “Act”). Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 288/01 of the Act explicitly exempts them from such minimum employment standards. However, a long-term construction employee may still be entitled to common law reasonable notice, which is much more lucrative than what the Act provides for anyway. Nevertheless, how much notice a construction employee is entitled to under the common law remains an unsettled test in Ontario.

 

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Celebrating Discovery Day in Newfoundland and Labrador

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Discovery Day is celebrated on the nearest Monday to June 24. This year, Discovery Day falls on Monday, June 26, 2017. While Discovery Day is a paid holiday for government employees in the province, it is not a statutory (public) holiday under the Labour Standards Act.

 

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Celebrating Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day in Quebec

In Quebec, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Fête nationale du Québec et de la Francophonie canadienne, is a statutory holiday on June 24 each year.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Wages by occupation, 2016; The risks of mischaracterizing an employee as an independent contractor; and Employer ordered to pay over $53,000 for unpaid general holiday and vacation pay.

 

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Can an employment agreement executed after the employee starts work be enforced? The Ontario Court of Appeal says yes.

In Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that a “written employment agreement is not unenforceable merely because the employee signs it after starting to work”. The Court found the trial judge’s inference to be reasonable, noting that Deeley did not claim she reviewed the terms of her employment for the first time on April 24, 2007, or that the contract contained any new material terms. The Court acknowledged that the contract was likely signed the day after Deeley started work as “a matter of administrative convenience.” In these circumstances, fresh consideration was not necessary.

 

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Celebrating National Aboriginal Day

On June 21, National Aboriginal Day is celebrated in Canada. This day of recognition and celebration was established to honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Northwest Territories and Yukon are currently the only two jurisdictions in Canada that recognize June 21 as a statutory holiday.

 

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Owner/operator Labour Market Impact Assessment and its importance for permanent residence applications in 2017

Any Canadian employer wishing to employ a temporary foreign worker (“TFW”) in Canada must first obtain authorization from the government, which is typically obtained by proving that the hiring of a TFW will not negatively impact the Canadian labour market. In most cases, the Canadian employer must apply to Employment and Social Development Canada, also known as Service Canada, for approval of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”), previously called a Labour Market Opinion or LMO. A LMIA is a very detailed application process that is subject to a high level of review, and must be completed without error.

 

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Departing employees gone rogue

The business consequences of departing employees gone rogue were recently highlighted in Prim8 Group Inc. v Tisi. In that case, an officer and director of Prim8 Group Inc. (Tisi) resigned from his employment to set up a competing business. Two days before his resignation, Tisi removed electronic equipment from Prim8’s premises, some of which contained proprietary information, and refused to return it. Shortly thereafter, another employee resigned from Prim8 without notice to join Tisi’s competing business.

 

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Ontario court: “Total payroll” must be considered when assessing employer severance pay obligation

The Wissing case is an important decision for Ontario employees and employers alike. It confirms that in assessing an employee’s entitlement to statutory severance pay, the Courts will look at the employer’s total payroll, not just that of its Ontario operations.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Court of Appeal upholds award to constructively dismissed McDonald’s manager; Employer proves it accommodated employee’s disability to the point of undue hardship; and Employer’s LMIA application denied due to lack of “genuineness” of job offer.

 

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Employee engagement in the modern workplace

The modern workplace requires innovation, agility and creativity when it comes to employee engagement, learning and development, how to accept and embrace the high turnover, gig economy, and how to stop generalizing generations. Few would disagree that an organization will only grow and thrive when it can figure out how to engage all individuals, not just certain demographics or generations.

 

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Only one week left to register for the Ontario Employment Law Conference #learnthelatest

The 18th annual Ontario Employment Law Conference will be taking place on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at the Corporate Event Center at CHSI in Mississauga. We are very much looking forward to hearing from Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn and the employment and labour law experts from Stringer LLP! If you would like to register for the conference but haven’t done so yet, registration will be closing on Friday, June 16, 2017.

 

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Bad facts make bad law (for employers): Court recognizes new tort of harassment #learnthelatest

The Ontario Superior Court recently recognized a new tort that would allow employees to sue their employers for harassment in civil court. To find out more about how the new tort of harassment in the employment law context, register to Learn the Latest® at the Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 20, 2017.

 

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OHSA in wonderland: Through the looking glass

If an employee alleges a violation of section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) then the employer must prove there has been no violation. This is called a reverse onus clause which means an employer must prove it did not violate OHSA. After a brief summary of the remedies that are available to employees under section 50 of OHSA, this blog discusses three recent cases.

 

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Social media background checks and privacy laws

Social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and do business. Naturally, employers may want to take advantage of the convenience of performing background checks on social media. But with increased use of social media comes increased risk of a privacy violation.

 

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