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Author Archive - Jeff Dutton, Dutton Employment Law

Jeff is a leading employment lawyer in Toronto. He represents both individual employees and management in all matters. Prior to founding Dutton Employment Law, Jeff was a prosecutor for the Ministry of Labour. He has been successful at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, Ontario Court of Justice and the Ontario Superior Court. Jeff is a frequent lecturer on employment law matters and has been widely published in newspapers and trade journals. Read more.

Can an employee take back a resignation even if the employer accepted it?

Writing for the Ontario Court of Appeal in Kieran (2004), Justice Lang stated that, where an employee has resigned, he may resile from the resignation if the employer has not detrimentally relied upon it.

 

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Employer reminder: Summary hearing tool at the Human Rights Tribunal for allegations of bullying and harassment

An “Order for a Summary Hearing” is an employer’s tool to seek early dismissal of the Application on the basis that ‘there is no reasonable prospect that the Application will succeed’ at a full hearing. Hence, it should be dispensed quickly and efficiently.

 

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Clauses to include in an employment contract

Employers in Ontario should require employees to sign an employment contract before starting work.

 

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Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia statutory pay guide

Employment standards laws in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia prescribe minimum overtime pay, minimum statutory holiday pay, minimum vacation pay and minimum wage.

 

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Time as an independent contractor can be considered in the calculation of severance

This case demonstrates that employers need to know that if they hire their independent contractors into a genuine “employee” position, that time they spent as an independent contractor may be calculated in establishing their right to severance.

 

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Differences between executive and non-executive employment contracts

Executive employment contracts are drafted, unusually, in favor of the employee, rather than the employer as is the case in 99% of all non-executive employment contracts. This is not unreasonable, however.

 

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30 tips for a reasonable workplace investigation

In Canada, a requirement to conduct a workplace investigation is triggered in case of harassment, sexual harassment or violence. What then is required of such a workplace investigation? In short, a “reasonable” investigation is required.

 

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What is undue hardship?

The right to accommodation at work in Canada is not absolute. Employers only have an obligation to accommodate disabled employees up to undue hardship and can therefore terminate or suspend disabled employees if the employee cannot be accommodated.

 

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When should an employer conduct a workplace investigation?

Under the common law, and specifically under Sections 25(2)(h) and 32.0.5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario), every employer has a duty to conduct a workplace investigation after an incident of workplace violence has allegedly occurred. In other words, if an employer gets a complaint about violence at work, or if the employer witnesses violence at work, it must conduct an investigation.

 

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Severance for sales people

This article examines whether employers must include commissions, in addition to base salary, when calculating severance pay for sales people.

 

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A discussion on performance improvement plans

If an employee has performance issues, and the employer is committed to providing the employee with the opportunity to correct poor performance before terminating their employment, the employer should use a performance improvement plan or PIP to identify in writing such performance issues and make a plan to fix them.

 

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The non-competition clause – Drafting and cautionary notes

A non-competition clause (or non-compete clause) is a passage in an employment contract which purports to prohibit employees from working for another employer or starting their own business which competes with their employer during and after employment.

 

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Why employers shouldn’t use severance calculators

Determining the period of reasonable notice is an art not a science. In each case trial judges must weigh and balance a catalogue of relevant factors.

 

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Is drinking at work just cause for termination?

Just cause is the death penalty in employment law. Accordingly, in case of drinking at work, just cause can only be justified where the drinking at work causes grave concern.

 

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Startup employment contracts

Canadian startups and any company for that matter should have an employment contract for all new hires. An employment contract helps both parties understand the employment relationship, protects the start up in the event of the termination of employees and it can also serve as a useful mechanism to attract good employees.

 

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