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Author Archive - Vey Willetts LLP

Vey Willetts LLP is an Ottawa-based workplace law firm, serving individuals and employers across Eastern Ontario. They recognize that operating a business is complex and maintaining an efficient and legally-compliant workplace is a continuous challenge. The firm helps simplify legal workplace obligations so that employers can focus on what matters: their business. Learn more about Vey Willetts LLP by contacting Andrew Vey, or Paul Willetts or by visiting the firm’s website. Read more.

Just cause for dismissal: context is key

Determining what conduct amounts to just cause for dismissal is no easy task. In part this is due to just cause being inherently situation specific. When describing what may constitute just cause, employment lawyers often refer to extreme examples: think of situations where a public-facing employee makes repeated racial slurs to a customer or commits […]

 

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Paying the price: Ontario court reminds employers to carefully consider their approach to litigation

It is important for businesses to carefully consider their response to an employee’s wrongful dismissal claim.

 

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HRTO creates new rule for employers regarding citizenship-based recruitment criteria

It is both advisable and appropriate to confirm that an employee is legally eligible to work in Canada at the time of hire. But the inquiry should stop there.

 

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Putting on the brakes: Ontario courts are limiting the scope post-dismissal mitigatory earnings

Employers must be aware that it is now an increasingly risky strategy to fight a wrongful dismissal case on the hopes of saving money via employee mitigation of loss.

 

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Sober, safe and productive workplaces: Managing the legalization of recreational marijuana

The pending legalization of recreational marijuana has raised concerns for employers as to how legalization may impact their workplaces and what steps may be taken to protect staff, ensure safety and avoid loss of productivity.

 

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Requirements for conducting a workplace harassment investigation: lessons from the Green Party

Any allegation of harassment in the workplace needs to be taken seriously. Not the least of which, employers should be mindful of the statutory duty to conduct a related investigation.

 

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Ontario court overturns just cause dismissal and awards over $97,000 in damages

It is acknowledged by the courts that a just cause dismissal in employment law is tantamount to “capital punishment in the criminal justice system.” While just cause dismissal does require that a high threshold first be established, it will, in certain circumstances be an appropriate and necessary response.

 

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Tips on the right way to fire employees in Ontario

Each employee dismissal will come with its own unique circumstances and challenges. However, with sufficient planning, organization and sensitivity to the employee, it is possible to get through the dismissal process in respectful fashion, while avoiding the creation of problems that may later come back to haunt the employer.

 

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Commitment to “comply with statute” not enough to displace common law rights on termination

This decision serves as an important reminder to employers to draft clear and enforceable termination provisions in order to avoid unanticipated liability upon termination. In particular, the Movati decision confirms that should an employer want to limit its obligations upon termination to the minimum entitlements required by statute, it is necessary to include clear words of limitation.

 

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Limitation periods and statutory severance pay: an update

An interesting decision from the Ontario Superior Court came out last recently concerning when the limitations period begins to run for claims of wrongful dismissal and statutory severance pay. In the case in question, the Court held that the limitation period to claim unpaid statutory severance pay commences as soon as working notice of dismissal is issued to an employee.

 

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$750,000 in moral and punitive damages awarded to employee left to “twist in the wind”

At almost 100 pages, Galea is a hefty case with many facets not touched upon in the above summary. That said, it marks the latest in a trend of Ontario courts issuing ever higher awards for bad employer conduct in both dismissal and subsequent litigation.

 

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Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited: Termination clause fails to rebut employee’s entitlement to reasonable notice

A recent summary judgment motion before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited, serves as an important reminder to employers of the need to draft contractual termination clauses with a high degree of clarity, or risk unanticipated liability in the event of a without cause dismissal.

 

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Bad faith dismissals: is medical evidence required to prove damages?

The question of whether medical evidence is required to prove damages in bad faith dismissals is one that courts across Canada have struggled with for some time.  Welcome guidance was provided by the Supreme Court of Canada this past summer.

 

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“Too pretty to drive a forklift”: Employee awarded considerable damages for workplace harassment and discrimination

This article details the outcome of the case of a woman who suffered repeated workplace harassment and discrimination and her employer’s failure to accommodate her reasonable requests for accommodation of both her pregnancy and disability, as defined under the Human Rights Code.

 

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Protecting employees from third-party harassment

Even if an employer is not fully successful at the end of the day, the moral boost to workers of knowing that their employer is willing to go to bat to stop harassment in its tracks cannot be overstated.

 

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