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Pensions and Benefits

Victoria Day, public (statutory) holiday in Canada

In Canada, Monday, May 22, 2017 is recognized as a public (statutory) holiday known as Victoria Day, except in the Atlantic provinces.

 

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Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Employment law changes coming ($15 minimum wage and more); overtime exemptions under employment standards; and grievance of an employee alleging discrimination based on family status.

 

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The end of accommodation? Frustration of the employment contract as a last resort

One of the goals of legislation such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Human Rights Code is to promote accessibility and accommodation in various forums, including the workplace. However, when it becomes clear that, despite accommodating an employee to the point of undue hardship, a disabled employee will never again be able to return to his or her job or be accommodated in another position, what can an employer do?

 

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Employer unsuccessful in voiding unfavourable termination clause

A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal dealt with the unusual situation of a defendant employer arguing that its own contractual termination provision was unenforceable and thus the plaintiff employee was entitled to common law reasonable notice. Employees frequently challenge the enforceability of a termination provision to seek common law notice, however, it is rare that an employer would do the same.

 

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You can fire someone without saying so, but even “I quit” may not be a resignation

We all know that most Judges will try to protect employees when they can, as the perception is that employers have greater resources. In recent times, my firm has written about the dangers of accepting resignations too quickly and the need to allow an employee who purports to quit some time to cool down and reconsider. Another recent case adopted a similarly protection approach but in a very different context: the unintentional dismissal. While you may not have heard of this concept before, it is, apparently, a thing.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: MOL blitz schedule for 2017–18; Ontario Budget 2017–18; and corporate directors who were found liable for employees’ unpaid wages.

 

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Denial of coverage for medical marijuana under employee benefit plan found to be discriminatory

The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Board found the Trustees’ justifications for denying an employee’s request for coverage to be “wholly inadequate.” The Plan provided coverage for “reasonable and customary charges incurred for medically necessary drugs and medicines” obtained legally by prescription, and did not require a DIN as a condition of coverage.

 

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Generous termination clauses: Think twice before making promises #learnthelatest

Many employers include termination clauses in employment contracts to limit their liability when dismissing employees. When employers draft generous termination provisions providing for more than statutory minimums, they must follow through on that generosity when terminating employees. Failing to do so could leave employers exposed to full liability under the common law.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training Regulation; overview of Bill C-45 to legalize marijuana; and Budget 2017 Bill to implement employment insurance measures.

 

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11 HR policies you need right now for legal compliance

I learned a new way of looking at policies recently. The standard ways that you do things at your workplace, how you treat and manage your employees, your day-to-day practices—these are your HR policies and procedures, regardless of whether you’ve written them down or not.

 

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Have you amended your pension plan?

The Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) was recently amended. In this communiqué, we briefly review those amendments.

 

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The thin legal line: Resignation vs termination #learnthelatest

Has an employee who hands over his keys and company cell phone to his employer and declares “I’m done” resigned their employment? The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has said that, in at least one case, the answer is no.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: whether an amount paid to a taxpayer on retirement qualifies as a retiring allowance; whether criminal charges alone for off-duty conduct is enough for just cause dismissal; when moral damages are to be awarded in a wrongful dismissal case.

 

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