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Author Archive - Stringer LLP

Stringer LLP is a leader in Canadian HR law. For over 50 years, they have taken a client-centered approach to responsive service, representing employers with labour relations and employment problems. Their firm’s practice covers a broad spectrum of HR law, including employment law, occupational health & safety, labour relations and arbitration, human rights, workers’ compensation, pay equity and corporate immigration, as well as issues under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. They also provide training, seminars and conferences on the above topics. Read more

Financial disclosure required for sentencing only in exceptional circumstances

A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Justice suggests that extraordinary circumstances are required in order for a defendant to be compelled to produce financial documents to the Crown for the purposes of a sentencing hearing.

 

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Court rejects Ministry of Labour’s attempt to assume breach of OHSA in face of strong safety program

A recent case goes to show that a failure by the Crown to show that an accident resulted from a breach of the Act, combined with a strong employer safety program, can result in an acquittal.

 

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Can a corporate director face a personal injury suit for a workplace accident? Alberta Court of Appeal says yes!

The fundamental principle of workers’ compensation across Canada is that workers who suffer an injury “in the course of employment” give up their right to sue their employer and others in tort, in exchange for access to the no fault workers’ compensation benefit system. However, there are exceptions to this principle, which may expose uninsured workplace parties to significant liability, including directors.

 

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Has BC Court opened the door to more court claims of harassment?

Since the early 1980s, plaintiffs have been precluded from bringing court actions solely predicated on suffering discrimination or harassment under human rights legislation.

 

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Legalization and the workplace: Your questions answered!

On October 17, the federal government legalized recreational marijuana use. At the same time, Ontario’s provincial government enacted the Cannabis Act and amended related legislation. Employers are rightly concerned about the possible impacts on the workplace.

 

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How to LOSE a union application for certification

The prospect of becoming unionized is unwelcome for many employers. Along with increased costs and workplace rules, an us-vs-them mentality often creeps in making it difficult to manage your business. So how do you deal with a union application for certification?

 

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Never too late: Court rejects employee’s attempt to avoid liability for theft

The case discussed in this article is both an encouraging sign for employers who are victims of employee theft, as well as a warning.

 

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Can an employer have a zero tolerance policy for marijuana? The Human Rights Tribunal weighs in

In one of the first cases to consider this issue the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal was faced with the question of whether a “zero tolerance” policy for marijuana consumption discriminated against a worker in a safety sensitive position who wanted to consume marijuana at work for medicinal purposes.

 

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Court disregards release where settlement “unconscionable”

The Ontario Superior Court recently allowed an employee to proceed with claims against his former employer regarding long-term disability insurance, even though he had signed a release in exchange for a severance package when his employment ended.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal finds clarity in termination clause

The Court’s reversal in this case, while favourable to employers, emphasizes the occasional unpredictability of the law in this area. It is prudent to periodically review your contractual termination provisions for new hires.

 

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Off-duty drunk driving not just cause for termination – Even for a firefighter

In Klonteig v West Kelowna (District), the British Columbia Superior Court found that an employer that terminated a firefighter for driving drunk in a fire department vehicle while off duty did not have just cause to terminate his employment.

 

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Revoking telecommute agreement a constructive dismissal

Employers should seek legal advice to ensure they are not altering essential terms and conditions of employment in attempts to improve performance. This is especially the case when dealing with long term employees who have never received negative feedback on performance or been subject to performance management.

 

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Consideration: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

The facts of this case are extremely unique. We more commonly see the courts using the doctrine of consideration to deny employers the ability to enforce restrictive termination clauses imposed after employees have already commenced working. However, the ruling gives employers hope that, if the circumstances were sufficiently extreme and an employee’s behavior egregious, the courts will apply the doctrine of consideration to an employer’s advantage.

 

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Working notice inappropriate for employees who cannot work

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded an employee on leave due to disability, damages representing the salary he would have earned had he been able to work during the working notice period set by his employer.

 

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Short service employee gets four months’ pay in lieu of reasonable notice

Some employers erroneously believe that there is a “rule of thumb” in the common law that employees are entitled to a month of notice per year of service. The Ontario Court of Appeal has held that there is no such rule, and that determinations of reasonable notice must be based on an assessment of all relevant factors.

 

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