First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Notice, Damages and Settlements

Home renos and employment agreements: How employers can avoid the money pit

With home repairs, there is risk in DIY. Similarly, employment agreements require the input of an expert. If you’re not an employment lawyer, don’t try this (i.e. drafting or revising an employment agreement) at home.

 

, , , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An employee who was dismissed for not submitting a doctor’s note in a timely fashion; a firefighter who was reinstated after being dismissed for sexually harassing a co–worker; and human rights claims, made by a former employee, that were barred by terms of a final release received on termination.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Probationary clauses: A double-edged sword for employers

Many employers find it necessary to assess new employees’ performance on the job before making a final determination about whether an individual is suitable for a position. In the absence of an express term in an employment contract, employees in Canada are entitled to reasonable notice of termination at common law when they are dismissed without just cause. Many employers put terms in their employment contracts, such as probationary clauses, which limit this entitlement. However, employers may not always be clear on the implications of such clauses.

 

, , , , , , , , ,

Fast food firing leads to aggravated damages

A recent BC Supreme Court decision finding a fast food employee was wrongfully dismissed and entitled to aggravated damages has been making newspaper headlines across the country. Ms. Ram had worked as a cook in various Burger King locations for 24 years, and was terminated for just cause after taking home a fish sandwich, fries and a drink at the end of her shift without paying for them. Ms. Ram’s claim was heard over a seven day trial, resulting in a lengthy decision.

 

, , , , , ,

Business and booze: Dealing with alcohol in the workplace

The relationship between employee alcohol use and work is complex. In Ontario, there are specific legal obligations which apply, and employers must exercise caution. Without a proper understanding of their legal obligations, employers face a minefield which may unwittingly result in unwanted liability.

 

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

Contract enforceability: Signing the employment contract prior to the start date

When an employee is terminated without cause and offered a package that is very modest, but otherwise compliant with the employment contract, a common first step for his or her lawyer will be to see if the contract can be set aside. If the contract can be declared void, the employee can try to pursue the typically much greater common law damages. There are several grounds upon which courts have set aside either the full contract or at the least, the termination provision. This blog post will focus on the issue of signing the contract prior to the start date.

 

, , , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Canada Revenue Agency form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment; clarification on the definition of “critical injury” in Regulation 834 under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; and the issue of corporate structure and employment standards obligations.

 

, , , , , ,

Employee’s age justifies wrongful dismissal damages of 24 months

Given the elimination of mandatory retirement years ago, employees are working for longer periods of time and well into their 60s and some into their 70s. Age has always been one of the key Bardal factors, in addition to title, length of service and compensation, that courts use to determine an appropriate common law notice period. In the recent case of Ozorio v. Canadian Hearing Society, 2016 ONSC 5440, Justice O’Marra confirmed that an employee’s age remains a significant factor in determining a common law notice period.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Probationary period clause gets employer into hot water

Including a probationary period clause in an employment contract is not a good idea unless your organization is prepared to assess the suitability of the employee during the probationary period. Failure to do so can result in your organization being ordered to provide a probationary employee with common law reasonable notice of termination. This blog discusses one such case.

 

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

The agenda for the 2017 Ontario Employment Law Conference is now available

Join Stringer LLP and First Reference at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga on June 20, 2017 at the Ontario Employment Law Conference to Learn the Latest® on the following topics from top Ontario employment law experts: Jeremy Schwartz will discuss the increasingly important topic of structuring your work relationships with independent […]

 

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

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds award of $60,000 in moral damages

In a recent case, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a substantial award of moral damages to an employee subjected to long–term sexual harassment, after she made a formal complaint to her manager.

 

, , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: How sleep and exercise may prevent the spread of harmful behavior across work and home life; a decision that may be helpful for employers who are faced with long delays in prosecutions of health and safety and other regulatory offences; a case that addresses without cause terminations and bonus payouts.

 

Wood vs. Oudin: Clarity in termination provisions

In Wood v Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal seemed to make a definitive statement about the interpretation of termination provisions in employment agreements: a court will invalidate them when they contain actual or technical deficiencies. However, the same Court’s decision last year in Oudin v Centre Francophone de Toronto seemed to reach a different conclusion: the court will apply contractual certainty to give effect to the parties’ intentions. Can the two be reconciled? Closer inspection reveals that each decision is specific to the employment agreements in each.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Repeal of CPP Social Insurance Numbers Regulations and amendments; whether less-than-ideal working conditions can result in a constructive dismissal circumstance; and an employee’s reinstatement after serious misconduct.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Termination clause and the importance of the word “minimum”

Employees are entitled to reasonable notice upon termination of their employment. However, a termination clause contained in an employment contract may oust the employer’s obligation to provide reasonable notice, so long as the termination clause actually limits the employee’s entitlement to notice, without violating employment standards.

 

, , , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts