First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

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.

Court of Appeal finds employee’s “unequivocal” resignation equivocal

In the decision of English v. Manulife Financial Corporation, the Ontario Court of Appeal has weighed in on when a change in circumstances may allow an employee to revoke a seemingly clear resignation.

 

, , , ,

Is GPS data “personal information?”

A recent decision by the Alberta Privacy Commissioner has confirmed that in some cases, an organization’s requirement for independent contractors to install GPS tracking devices on their vehicles will not violate applicable privacy legislation but does the data collected may be considered “personal information”.

 

, , , , ,

Court of appeal says no backpedaling allowed on employee resignation

Is an employer allowed to “re-hire” a long term employee on new terms if they retract their resignation? According to the Ontario Court of Appeal the answer seems to be yes.

 

, , , , ,

Avoiding pitfalls in long-term disability claims

Employers often provide their employees with access to long-term disability benefits through a group benefit plan. Group benefits are an attractive incentive for employees but can result in increased risk for the employer.

 

, , , ,

Employee caused data breaches: What’s an organization to do?

Data and privacy breaches caused by hacking and social engineering fraud are here to stay. Once considered an emerging risk, cyber is now a reality facing every organization.

 

, , ,

Court of Appeal says: No tort of harassment in Ontario

In a unanimous decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that there is no tort of harassment in Ontario. In Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), the Court overturned the trial decision which had found that the tort did exist.

 

, ,

Constructive dismissals – not blank cheque to refuse re-employment

A recent Ontario Superior Court summary judgment decision is a strong reminder that lay-offs are not an automatic contractual right and can trigger a constructive dismissal claim.

 

, , ,

Managing employer risk through employment practices liability policies

Litigation arising from employment disputes continues to be an active area of exposure for businesses. The most common claims are wrongful dismissal, harassment, or discrimination by an employer, fellow employee, or third party.

 

, ,

Court of Appeal partially invalidates release of notice entitlements

This blog focuses on the issues surrounding statutory minimums and waiving out, leaving the issue of restrictive covenants raised in the cross appeal for another day.

 

, , , , , , ,

Not so fast: Court sets aside employer’s ex parte motion against ex-employee

The recent decision of Planet Paper Box Group Inc., v. McEwan, highlights some of the risks of utilizing an ex parte motion to enforce restrictive covenants against a departing employee.

 

, , , , ,

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.

 

, , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , ,

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.

 

, , ,

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.

 

, , , , , ,

Previous Posts