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Author Archive - De Bousquet PC Barristers and Solicitors

De Bousquet law offers experienced counsel and representation in multiple aspects of employment law, labour relations, commercial law and civil litigation. Jean-Alexandre De Bousquet, founder of the firm, interned for the Canadian Centre for International Justice, worked for an Ottawa law firm and pursued a career with the Attorney General of Ontario. In 2014, Jean-Alexandre was named one of Ontario's "leading experts" in human rights law by Legal Action Magazine. Jean-Alexandre handles cases related to wrongful dismissal, workplace discrimination, breach of contract, fraud and commercial disputes. Jean-Alexandre is fully fluent in French and English and represents clients before courts and tribunals using both official languages. Before the practice of law, Jean-Alexandre was a journalist at the CBC for 3 years. Other notable achievements include employment with the Canada Research Chair on Native Peoples and Legal Diversity, the Canadian Research Chair on Metis Identity and the Urban League, a U.S. civil rights organization. Jean-Alexandre has also published articles in prominent academic journals and presented papers at international conferences in Canada and the U.S.

Must you include bonuses when calculating lost wages?

In the case, Bain v. UBS, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice tackled the issue of whether bonuses are too be included when calculating the income that an individual would have earned during a period of reasonable notice.

 

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$85,000.00 human rights award against employer in sexual harassment case upheld on appeal

In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case serves as an example of how serious our Canadian Courts are now treating sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds award of $60,000 in moral damages

In a recent case, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a substantial award of moral damages to an employee subjected to long–term sexual harassment, after she made a formal complaint to her manager.

 

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Father fired for seeking parental leave awarded $62,000 in damages

In Ontario, as a new parent, you are entitled to take unpaid time off work for up to 37 weeks to take care of your newborn child (i.e., parental leave). This right applies to both parents, and the employer is legally required to provide you with your old job at the end of the leave. The employer is also not permitted to retaliate, or punish you in any way, for taking the time off to spend with your family. Unfortunately employers often consciously violate these rights and returning employees frequently find that either they no longer have a job, or that the job responsibilities or pay have changed.

 

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Termination provisions in employment contracts

As an employee, by law, you are entitled to reasonable notice of termination of your employment. Employers however, often attempt to limit your legal entitlements by explicitly defining your rights upon termination in the employment contract. In the recent case of Singh v Qualified Metal Fabricators Ltd. an Ontario Court adopted an employee–friendly interpretation of these termination provisions, resolving the potential ambiguities in favour of the employee. While employers are allowed to contractually limit employees’ common–law reasonable notice requirements, they are required to do so with complete precision.

 

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Employees must give reasonable notice before quitting

While we often help employees who did not receive reasonable notice of termination from their employer, it is often forgotten that employees also owe a similar duty to provide notice to the employer before resigning. This common law duty was the subject of the recent case of Consbec Inc. v Walker. In this case, the BC Court of Appeal reaffirmed the existence of the duty owed by employees to the employer.

 

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Dependent contractors: Entitlement to reasonable notice

The recent decision of Keenan v. Canac Kitchens, confirms that dependent contractors are entitled to reasonable notice of employment termination. The required notice period can extend to years, and such as in this case, amount to 26 months.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal rules that dependent contractors are entitled to reasonable notice

In its recent decision in Keenan v. Canac Kitchens, the Court of Appeal for Ontario confirmed that dependent contractors are entitled to reasonable notice of employment termination. The required notice period can extend to years, and such as in this case, amount to 26 months.

 

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Court ruling making it harder for employers to avoid paying bonuses to workers dismissed without cause

Employees often rely on bonuses as a big part of their income and work hard throughout the year with the understanding that the efforts will be rewarded with a well–earned bonus. Employers on the other hand often attempt to limit the employee’s entitlement to bonuses and other incentives after termination, by including special contractual limitations in the employment and benefit plan contracts of the employee. In two recent decisions by the Ontario Court of Appeal the court has made it significantly more difficult for employers to avoid paying bonuses to wrongfully dismissed workers.

 

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Supreme Court of Canada rules that employees of federally-regulated employers cannot be dismissed without cause

The impact of this decision will likely be very substantial for a number of reasons. By requiring federally-regulated employers to always provide just cause when terminating non-unionized employees, the Court significantly expanded on the common law and statutory protections available to a large part of the working population. As a consequence of this decision, employees of federally-regulated employers will now be awarded a significantly higher degree of employment protection than their colleagues in the private sector, whose rights are largely governed by less protective provincial laws.

 

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Reasonable notice required of both employers and employees – Superior Court of Ontario

In the recent decision of Gagnon & Associates Inc. the Court reminds us that both employers and employees have the obligation to provide reasonable notice of intention to terminate the employment relationship.

 

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