Author Archive - Doug Macleod
Once upon a time, employees did not sign employment contracts with termination clauses and employment lawyers fought over the appropriate “reasonable” notice period. In 2017, however, employees now claim in addition to wrongful dismissal damages, human rights damages, moral or Wallace damages, punitive damages, and damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress.
Because of changes in demographics and other reasons, employees are increasingly asking for changed work schedules or time off work to care for children and elderly parents (i.e. family status accommodation). Depending on the size of the business and the employee’s duties these requests can create real problems. As a result, employers often ask whether a request for changed hours or time off work must be accommodated. The legal landscape has been shifting in this area for a number of years. This blog discusses the applicable legislation and some recent case law.
Until the last few years formal workplace investigations were relatively uncommon. Recent changes to the law however have totally changed the legal landscape relating to workplace investigations. To reduce legal exposure and save costs, I believe most employers should ensure that at least one employee receives workplace investigation training. This blog discusses four scenarios where workplace investigations are required or recommended.
Generally, it is very difficult for an employer to prove it has just cause. In a recent decision, however, Ontario’s highest court found that a teacher’s misconduct was serious enough to warrant a just cause termination. This article discusses this case and the kind of evidence an employer must lead to prove a just cause dismissal.
Bonus plans in employment contracts are a great way to motivate, reward and retain employees. Many of these bonus plans have built–in conditions that must be met before these bonuses are paid out. For example, an employee must be actively employed at the time the bonus is paid. Increasingly, the courts are being asked to determine whether these conditions have to be met and whether a bonus is owing. A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal will come as a surprise to many of you.
“Bob is harassing me.” Your spidey senses should be tingling, because some kind of investigation should be taking place soon. If not, consider what happened when an employee at CBC complained about Jian Ghomeshi and was ignored or when an employee at the TO2015 Pan American games complained about David Peterson and her complaint was allegedly not taken seriously. Here are three questions to consider when someone makes a harassment complaint.
Ontario Court of Appeal upholds decision to reinstate disabled employee with 10 years back pay: Will human rights litigation ever be the same again?
I predict a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision will have a significant impact on human rights litigation. In particular, I suspect disabled employees will start asking employers to find or create alternative positions for them if they cannot perform their job duties because of a disability, and terminated employees will start asking adjudicators to reinstate them with full back pay.
In a recent case, an adjudicator concluded that an employer failed to accommodate an employee on long-term disability who requested that she be permitted to work in a different work location than a co-worker for mental health reasons.
Many employees now claim more than one type of legal damages in a wrongful dismissal case. This is particularly the case when the employee is disabled. The following case is a good example.
For over 25 years, clients have been asking me whether a person is an employee or a contractor in various legal contexts.
For many years, Ontario employers have been obliged to accommodate disabled employees unless it results in undue hardship. Effective January 1, 2016, a new concept under this duty, the individual accommodation plan obliges employers to…
Even though Ontario judges have been using the same test for 55 years to determine how much notice of termination an employee is entitled to receive, employees and employers continue to disagree on an appropriate notice period in individual cases.
On October 27, 2015, the Ontario government tabled Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act which, among other things, amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act to make workplace sexual harassment a health and safety issue.