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Notice, Damages and Settlements

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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Is it work-related? Novel workers’ compensation decisions deal with harassment and assault #learnthelatest

It may seem fairly obvious when a worker breaks her leg “in the course of employment”. However, injuries and illnesses related to bullying and harassment have drawn significant attention in recent years, and decisions from various workers’ compensation tribunals across the country illustrate that determining the work-relatedness of such injuries is no simple task.

 

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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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Will distracted driving kill your employees?

Operating a motor vehicle for work is more than driving a truck, cab or ambulance. Anyone driving from home to a location different from their usual workplace, or travelling for work, is usually “in the course of employment” under workers’ compensation law. Thus distracted driving is very much an employer responsibility and risk.

 

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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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Dealing with a Claim: Getting sued by an ex-employee

What is an employer to do when served with a Statement of Claim? Here are the most common questions we get: 1. Is a response mandatory or can we ignore the claim? 2. How do we get rid of this ridiculous claim? 3. How much is this going to cost?

 

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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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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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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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Wrongful dismissal: When does the limitation period clock start running?

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice touches upon a little discussed area of employment law. Specifically, when does the limitation period clock start running for a claim of wrongful dismissal?

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Budget 2017’s proposed changes to maternity and parental leave; Bill 168 and compliance regarding violence provisions under OHSA; and employee sexual harassment and reprisal.

 

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Using independent contractor not a “get out of jail free” card

A business’ obligations to its workers will depend on whether the workers are employees or independent contractors. However, a recent decision reminds us that, even where a worker is a true independent contractor, this distinction may not preclude a business being liable to third parties, such as customers, when the worker does something wrong.

 

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