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Author Archive - Jeff Dutton

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.

Top 5 mistakes employers make in their contracts

Employment contracts are a useful tool for employers. But often, employers make mistakes when creating their contracts. Here are five of the main mistakes to watch out for.

 

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What happens if an employer fails to provide a timely Record of Employment (“ROE”) for departing employees?

Employers must issue the ROE within five days after the employee’s last day of work, regardless of the reason why the employee left (i.e. termination, resignation, etc.).

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal enforces simple probation clause

Employers generally owe their employees common law reasonable notice upon termination without cause. However, as shown in a recent Ontario Court of Appeal case, Nagribianko v. Select Wine Merchants Ltd, if the parties agree to a probation period in an employment contract, the right to common law reasonable notice can be ousted if the employee is terminated within the probationary period.

 

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Employers: Be careful of what you say about former employees to their new employers

Be careful of what you say about former employees to their new employers, warns Toronto employment lawyer, Jeff Dutton. As evidenced in Drouillard v. Cogeco Cable Inc., if a former employer suggests to another employer to terminate a certain employee, the former employer could be liable for damages to that employee by way of the tort of inducing breach of contract.

 

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Long-term construction employees may be entitled to reasonable notice of termination

Generally, construction employees are not entitled to termination or severance pay under the Employment Standards Act (the “Act”). Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 288/01 of the Act explicitly exempts them from such minimum employment standards. However, a long-term construction employee may still be entitled to common law reasonable notice, which is much more lucrative than what the Act provides for anyway. Nevertheless, how much notice a construction employee is entitled to under the common law remains an unsettled test in Ontario.

 

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Important decision regarding mitigation of damages following termination

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., recently clarified the law of mitigation.

 

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Can an employer terminate an employee for just cause if they were charged with a criminal offense?

The laying of a criminal charge alone does not constitute just cause (i.e. dismissal without notice) in every instance. In order to summarily dismiss an employee for being charged with a criminal offense, the employer must show that there is some connection between the charge and the employer.

 

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Are employees of a marijuana dispensary protected by employment standards?

With news almost every week of another marijuana dispensary raided by the police, Ontarian’s have asked, can the Ministry of Labour enforce employment standards (i.e. notice of termination, overtime, etc.) in favour of individuals who work at these criminal enterprises? In short, yes. There is simply no exemption in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) which exempts […]

 

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Termination clause and the importance of the word “minimum”

Employees are entitled to reasonable notice upon termination of their employment. However, a termination clause contained in an employment contract may oust the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable notice, so long as the termination clause actually limits the employee’s entitlement to notice, without violating employment standards.

 

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