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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Notice, Damages and Settlements

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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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.

 

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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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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.

 

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Workers now eligible for WSIB benefits for chronic mental stress and workplace harassment

The recent changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act may well be a blessing for employees without other remedy or recourse. At this time, it appears possible that employees who have been subject to chronic workplace stress may be able to apply to the WSIB for some form of benefit. What the WSIB and the WSIAT do with this new entitlement is yet to be seen.

 

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Top five cases of importance to Ontario employment law – 2017 edition

2017 has been an incredibly busy year for Ontario employment law practitioners. In addition to the changes to the common law brought about by the decisions considered in this post, one would be foolish to omit any reference to the sweeping changes recently ushered in by the Wynne government as a result of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, S.O. 2017 C.22 (“Bill 148”).

 

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Top 10 most-read First Reference Talks blog posts for 2017

This year on the First Reference Talks blog we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in employment and labour law and employee management. Apart from the issue of cannabis in the workplace, there seems to be varied topics making it on the list this year. Here’s the full top 10 list of the most-read First Reference Talks blog posts from our regular bloggers for 2017:

 

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5 employment law predictions for 2018

What’s in store in 2017 for HR and payroll

‘Tis the Season and 2017 is coming to a close. With this, I am predicting some of the trends to follow from an employment law perspective of 2018. Here are 5 trends to follow in the new year.

 

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Top 10 employment law cases of 2017

Here is a list of the cases which changed employment law in Canada in 2017 (in no particular order). Note that some of these cases are not yet published on CanLII and therefore, there is no link available.

 

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Working notice inappropriate for employees who cannot work

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded an employee on leave due to disability, damages representing the salary he would have earned had he been able to work during the working notice period set by his employer.

 

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$750,000 in moral and punitive damages awarded to employee left to “twist in the wind”

At almost 100 pages, Galea is a hefty case with many facets not touched upon in the above summary. That said, it marks the latest in a trend of Ontario courts issuing ever higher awards for bad employer conduct in both dismissal and subsequent litigation.

 

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British Columbia Supreme Court rules on reasonable notice when an employee is terminated before their first day of work

In Buchanan v. Introjunction Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1002, the Court considered a case where the employer terminated the plaintiff’s employment before he commenced work. The Court rejected employer’s argument that the probation period clause applied to limit its liability to provide notice of termination of employment.

 

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Top 10 employment law developments in 2017

In 2017, the provincial legislature and Ontario judges continued to change Ontario’s employment laws. These changes resulted in higher payroll costs and a more regulated workplace. This blog briefly identifies 10 employment law developments from the past year.

 

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Employers beware: Punitive damages for improper just cause allegations

Two recent Small Claims Court cases demonstrate the courts’ willingness to sanction employers for improper just cause allegations. These cases highlight the fact that employers need to be cautious in asserting just cause.

 

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Reinstatement of employment at the Human Rights Tribunal

Reinstatement is the practice of re-installing an employee to his/her position as it existed prior to termination, or to the fullest extent possible, which may include the preservation of their pre-existing seniority, pension and other benefits.

 

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