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First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Author Archive - Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, First Reference Talks blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of payroll, employment and labour law, payroll, HR analytics, corporate immigration, accessibility related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at editor@firstreference.com. If you liked this post, subscribe to First Reference Talks blog to get regular updates.

Canadian government introduces tax legislation applying to employee stock options granted on or after January 1, 2020

Under the Income Tax Act (Canada), when an employee exercises an employee stock option and acquires shares, the employee realizes a taxable employment benefit equal to the excess of the value of the shares at the time of acquisition over the exercise price paid for the shares.

 

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BC’s 14 protected grounds of discrimination

The Federal government, along with every province and territory in Canada, has human rights legislation prohibiting discrimination on grounds such as race, gender and disability in a number of public environments.

 

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Supreme Court to hear arguments about enforceability of arbitration clauses

On May 23, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in Uber Technologies Inc., et al. v. David Heller (the Uber Class Action). At issue is an arbitration clause in the Uber driver service agreement that requires all claims be arbitrated in the Netherlands, regardless of size.

 

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Common law reasonable notice of termination for independent contractors?

In the recent decision in Cormier v 1772887 Ontario Limited, an Ontario Superior Court judge stated that in some circumstances it would be reasonable to consider an employee’s years of service as an independent contractor in calculating his or her common law reasonable notice period.

 

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The Bikini Bistro and discrimination in the restaurant industry

An article recently came across my news feed that gave me pause. A new restaurant will be opening in Kamloops, BC, with a ‘unique’ dress code. As the name suggests, the Teenie Bikini Bistro will serve typical pub-style fare served by – wait for it –

 

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Calculating severance: What do the courts say?

In the past I have written about the different factors that are considered in assessing severance for a termination. Being a lawyer, I also provided the standard cop-out that “there is no formula for determining reasonable notice or severance amounts”.

 

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Hiring international students to address Canadian skills shortages – Immigration considerations

Canada’s immigration policies have been designed to allow foreign students attending school in Canada to obtain work experience in Canada. Many international students will also be able to eventually transition to Canadian permanent resident status.

 

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Ontario amends pension legislation to address electronic beneficiary designations

While legislation existing prior to the introduction of section 30.1.1 (namely, the SLRA and Electronic Commerce Act (Ontario) (ECA)) may be reasonably interpreted to already permit electronic beneficiary designations in pension and certain other contexts, it did not contain an express provision addressing the point.

 

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Alberta Court of Appeal confirms that directors may be held personally liable for injuries sustained in a workplace incident

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently revisited the question of directors’ personal liability for injuries sustained in a workplace incident.

 

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Target benefit plans – From New Brunswick to Ontario to the UK

In the most recent provincial budget, the Ontario government has signaled its willingness to expand its proposed target benefit framework outside the unionized environment.

 

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Does a 4-day work week work for your business?

For each individual business, it will depend on whether a 4-day work week means reducing hours, or simply compacting the same hours into less time. Some research has shown that workplaces can maintain the same level of productivity with staff working 32 hours a week as they do with teams working a full 40 hours.

 

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Federal government adopts “modern” labour standards

In the fall of 2018, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018 (“Bill”). This Bill, which primarily implements the 2018 federal budget plans, introduced a large variety of legislative changes to a number of laws. Included amongst the proposed changes is the modernization of labour standards in the Canada Labour Code and the introduction of the Pay Equity Act.

 

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Bad behaviour and termination

The gut reaction of most employers when they have to deal with an employee who has behaved in an outrageous fashion is to terminate the employee in question without much inquiry into the background of the conduct.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds constructive dismissal – without pay suspensions must be justified

The first issue in Filice for the Court of Appeal was whether the without pay suspension constituted constructive dismissal. The Court first cited the two-branch test set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (2015).

 

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La Cour d’appel de l’Ontario confirme la conclusion de congédiement déguisé – les suspensions sans solde doivent être justifiées

Dans l’affaire Filice, l’employeur avait des politiques prévoyant les suspensions sans solde et ces politiques furent considérées comme faisant partie du contrat d’emploi.

 

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