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Author Archive - Devan Marr

Devan Marr is a lawyer at Strigberger Brown Armstrong LLP. With two offices located in Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo, the firm offers a full range of legal services to our industry partners in insurance and risk management. The firm aims to provide its clients with focused, practical, and cost efficient legal advice. Devan primarily defends insurance claims with a particular interest in the intersection of the contractual, statutory and common law obligations of parties in long-term disability and employment practice liability claims. His practice also includes providing employment related legal advice to both employers and employees in the context of contract negotiations, evaluation of termination clauses, workplace investigations, and assessment of exposure to wrongful dismissal claims.

Termination clauses: Not just for indefinite employees

In a recent decision, Ontario’s Divisional Court reminds us of the importance of proper termination clauses in fixed term contracts. In Ferguson v. Mitsche & Aziz Inc., the Divisional Court upheld a Small Claims judgment awarding the maximum $25,0000.00 limit in damages to an employee who was dismissed five months into her one-year fixed term contract.

 

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Goods news and bad news: ONCA rules on notice requirements during mass terminations

On September 19, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal released the decision of Wood v. CTS of Canada Co., and addressed several important issues surrounding mass termination events in Ontario. Specifically, the Court addressed the requirement to post prescribed notices at the commencement of the statutory notice period, that non-consensual overtime demands may dis-entitle employers to credit for working notice, and that notices of termination must always be clear and unequivocal in order to remain valid.

 

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Just Cause – Workplace policies remain an important consideration in judicial decision making

Several factors worked against the employer in this case of just cause termination, but most significantly was the lack of robust written policies and procedures on discipline and proper employee training on harassment.

 

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Constructive dismissal – Suspension without pay must always be reasonable

If an employer is considering suspending someone without pay best practices suggests one should document the issues, provide clear reasons for the suspension, and seek legal advice.

 

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Not so constructive feedback: Employer’s unilateral changes result in constructive dismissal

In Robinson v. H.J. Heinz Company of Canada LP, Stinson J. found that the Plaintiff, a long term employee of the Defendant, had been constructively dismissed when the Defendant progressively stripped responsibilities from her position after a merger.

 

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Singer strikes back: Court of Appeal awards damages for lost bonus over 17 month notice period

There are several important takeaways from this decision for both employers and employees. The first is that the Court will carefully review bonus documentation for the parties’ intention to remove any entitlement after termination.

 

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