First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Notice, Damages and Settlements

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.

 

, , , , , ,

What happens to employment contracts when an employer sells the assets of its business?

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has confirmed that in an asset sale, a purchaser’s offer of employment to a seller’s employee can constitute consideration for changes in an employment contract — including a new termination clause.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Claiming constructive dismissal as an independent contractor

Can independent contractors claim damages for constructive dismissal? In a decision released March 7, 2018 by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Barresi v Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate Services, Inc., 2018 ONSC 837, the answer to that question was essentially yes. Facts The case concerned a commercial real estate broker, Barresi, who was retained […]

 

, , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , ,

26 is the new 24 (Reasonable Notice)

The result of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s January 2016 decision of Keenan v. Canac Kitchens Ltd., which established, at this court level, for the first time that 26 months was reasonable notice in exceptional circumstances, thus confirming to the lower courts that there is no 24-month cap on notice.

 

, , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the interpretation and enforceability of termination clauses, changes and improvements to services, benefits and credits for Canadians for the new tax filing season and improved ways for businesses to meet their reporting obligations.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , ,

BC Supreme Court awards aggravated damages in the absence of medical evidence

The decisions in Ensign and Karmel demonstrate the risk of liability for failing to be honest and forthright in the manner of termination of an employee’s employment. Employers would be well-advised to be conservative in assessing whether they have cause, assessing reasonable notice periods, carrying out the termination and avoiding bad faith and/or misrepresentation.

 

, , , , , , ,

Update regarding the Metron Construction case: Kazenelson’s appeal dismissed, 3.5-year sentence upheld

Over the past couple of years, I have written about the story regarding the project manager involved at the work site where Metron Construction Incorporated (Metron) was repairing 18-story apartment buildings using a swing stage. The charges arose from an incident where five workers employed by Metron fell more than 100 feet to the ground when the swing stage on which they were working suddenly collapsed. Some developments in this matter have occurred.

 

, , , , ,

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.

 

, , , ,

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.

 

, , , ,

Divisional court finds employer demonstrated bad faith and acted as “puppeteer” in wrongful termination case of fixed-term independent contractor

The recent case of Radikov v. Premier Project Consultants Ltd et al. is a cautionary tale of the importance of good faith in consulting contracts after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Premier’s appeal, finding Premier had acted as a “puppeteer” by keeping Mr. Radikov at its “beck and call” before terminating his fixed term contract two days before completion and refusing to pay the outstanding fixed-term contract price.

 

, , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , ,

Previous Posts