First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Author Archive - Doug Macleod

For the past 25 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising and representing employers in connection with employee terminations. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at doug@macleodlawfirm.ca. Read more

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

What to do when the MOL comes calling

This blog discusses a group of orders that a MOL inspector recently imposed on a small employer after an employee complained that she had been harassed at work.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Tort of harassment: Employer ordered to pay employee $100,000

This blog discusses a case where a trial judge awarded an employee $100,000 general damages because the employer committed, among other things, the tort of harassment.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Probationary period clause gets employer into hot water

Including a probationary period clause in an employment contract is not a good idea unless your organization is prepared to assess the suitability of the employee during the probationary period. Failure to do so can result in your organization being ordered to provide a probationary employee with common law reasonable notice of termination. This blog discusses one such case.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wrongful dismissal update: More kinds of damages being ordered

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Family status accommodation: How to respond to requests

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Workplace investigations that are required or recommended

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Establishing just cause for termination

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.

 

, , , , , , ,

Ontario judge strikes down yet another termination clause

Some employment contracts have termination clauses which state that an employee will receive notice of termination “in accordance with the Employment Standards Act” or words to that effect. The purpose of this clause is to take away the employee’s right to common law “reasonable” notice of termination. In 2000 an Ontario Superior Court judge concluded that this kind of language meant that an employer was only required to provide the employee with the minimum notice of termination stipulated in the ESA. Advantage employers.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Employment contracts may need to be amended because of a recent Court of Appeal decision

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OHSA workplace harassment amendments to take effect September 8, 2016: Are you ready?

“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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Accommodating disabled employees: Can an employee demand to work at a different workplace?

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.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Disabled employee earning $22,000 per year awarded $110,000 damages

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.

 

, , , , , , , , ,

Employee or contractor? That is the $64,000 question

For over 25 years, clients have been asking me whether a person is an employee or a contractor in various legal contexts.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts