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Employment/Labour Standards

Secretly recorded conversations – the collision of “technification” and mistrust in the workplace

While I would never have been able to predict at the time I started practicing employment law that I’d be writing about and advising clients on the risks associated with secret recordings in the workplace, it is a reality that is now a regular part of the modern workplace.

 

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Family Day February 19: Which provinces have a day off with pay?

In Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, Family Day is recognized as a public (statutory) holiday and employees get the day off with pay, if eligible. Each year, these provinces celebrate Family Day on the third Monday in February. In 2018, Monday, February 19 is Family Day.

 

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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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Sexual harassment and Valentine’s Day

Employers need to be aware of the sexual tensions at play in an office, or risk being held liable for failing to address a poisoned work environment. For example, if two co-workers had a relationship and then broke up, and one is now showing revealing photos of the other around the office, this likely creates a poisoned work environment for the depicted employee. Though a manager may be tempted to deem the matter personal, the employer has an obligation to protect the employee.

 

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Wal-Mart employee awarded $250,000 in moral damages and $500,000 in punitive damages

Wal-Mart was found to have breached its duty as it was trying to find a new position for Ms. Galea. I don’t know if this case will turn out to be an outlier, but in the meantime employers should be very careful when dealing with an employee who is between jobs within the organization.

 

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Employee awarded 12 months’ pay and $24k in legal fees from employer who undermined her efforts to find new employment

In a recent case titled Ste-Croix v. Al-Hashimi and Jawad Dentistry, following a termination without cause the Ontario Superior Court of Justice canvassed what constitutes “reasonable notice” and the factors the court will consider, what comprises reasonable efforts to mitigate damages, and when a motion for summary judgment is preferable to an unnecessary trial.

 

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Family Day in British Columbia, February 12

Family Day in British Columbia is a statutory (public) holiday that is celebrated the second Monday in February each year. On Monday, February 12, 2018, British Columbians will be celebrating their sixth Family Day.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with pay equity and equal pay, marijuana in the workplace and possible paternity leave.

 

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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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Entitlement to bonus after dismissal: The debate continues

Employers would be wise to review their current agreements and policies with respect to bonuses and ensure that any eligibility requirements upon termination are clearly set out and have been expressly communicated to employees.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with wage compression, New Year’s resolutions for employers and how compliance with occupational health and safety regulations may not be good enough.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with income tax changes in the new budget Bill, OHSA and WSIA changes in the new budget Bill and cannabis smoke-free and road safety legislation.

 

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New Employment Standards in Ontario Poster

As a result of the much blogged about changes made to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”), which came into force in the new year, Ontario’s Ministry of Labour drafted a new poster entitled “Employment Standards in Ontario” (the “Poster”) reflecting these changes.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the new Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017, payroll rates for 2018 and the new ESA poster.

 

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Wal-Mart’s “deplorable” pre and post termination conduct results in a sizeable $750,000.00 moral and punitive damages award

Recently, in Galea v. Wal-Mart (2017 ONSC 245) the Ontario Superior Court released a decision in a wrongful termination matter involving a Wal-Mart Executive Gail Galea (“Galea”) and the “reprehensible” termination conduct of Wal-Mart. In addition to the usual wrongful termination damages such as salary, benefits, bonuses, etc., the Court awarded a whopping $750,000.00 in moral and punitive damages combined.

 

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