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Talking damages: Put your money where your mouth is

When it comes to human rights cases, awards for general damages are often less than $10,000, even though the $10,000 cap on general damages was removed almost a decade ago.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: how an employee’s decision to retrain affected his right to damages after termination, improvements to CRA services for small and medium businesses and union-friendly changes to the certification process included in Bill 148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act.

 

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The damages formerly known as Wallace – Are they still relevant?

It has been about eight years since the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Honda Canada v Keays, which dramatically altered the law with respect to damages relating to bad faith conduct in the course of dismissal. Is the topic still relevant? A recent Ontario decision confirms that it is.

 

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Departing employees gone rogue

The business consequences of departing employees gone rogue were recently highlighted in Prim8 Group Inc. v Tisi. In that case, an officer and director of Prim8 Group Inc. (Tisi) resigned from his employment to set up a competing business. Two days before his resignation, Tisi removed electronic equipment from Prim8’s premises, some of which contained proprietary information, and refused to return it. Shortly thereafter, another employee resigned from Prim8 without notice to join Tisi’s competing business.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Court of Appeal upholds award to constructively dismissed McDonald’s manager; Employer proves it accommodated employee’s disability to the point of undue hardship; and Employer’s LMIA application denied due to lack of “genuineness” of job offer.

 

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Bad facts make bad law (for employers): Court recognizes new tort of harassment #learnthelatest

The Ontario Superior Court recently recognized a new tort that would allow employees to sue their employers for harassment in civil court. To find out more about how the new tort of harassment in the employment law context, register to Learn the Latest® at the Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 20, 2017.

 

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OHSA in wonderland: Through the looking glass

If an employee alleges a violation of section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) then the employer must prove there has been no violation. This is called a reverse onus clause which means an employer must prove it did not violate OHSA. After a brief summary of the remedies that are available to employees under section 50 of OHSA, this blog discusses three recent cases.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Ontario Employment Standards Act reforms underway; employees awarded $15,000 each in moral damages against employer; and upcoming employment and labour law changes in Alberta.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Changing Workplaces Review final report; employee wrongfully dismissed awarded $46,000 in damages; and employer successful in challenging worker’s entitlement to cost relief.

 

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Disability and termination under the Human Rights Code

Under the Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the Code), an employee cannot be terminated due to a disability. If the Human Rights Tribunal finds that the termination was based in part or in whole on a disability, this may be considered a breach of the Code. The matter was addressed in one of the first Tribunal decisions of 2017, Ben Saad v. 1544982 Ontario Inc.

 

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Wrongful dismissal update: More kinds of damages being ordered

Once upon a time, employees did not sign employment contracts with termination clauses and employment lawyers fought over the appropriate “reasonable” notice period. In 2017, however, employees now claim in addition to wrongful dismissal damages, human rights damages, moral or Wallace damages, punitive damages, and damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress.

 

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Discrimination and a decision on remedies

In an application filed under the Human Rights Code of Ontario, once the matter has been heard, and the Tribunal has found the respondent to be liable, the next stage is that of remedy. Monetary and non–monetary damages may be awarded as was the case in Kohli v. International Clothiers, where the applicant, Ms. Kohli, had filed an application alleging discrimination in employment on the basis of sex.

 

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Just cause termination: Employers need “reasonable basis”

The Court acknowledged that an employer may allege just cause, and later abandon that claim at any time. The Court held that it wouldn’t be appropriate to penalize an employer for changing its mind if it initially had a reasonable basis to believe it had just cause to terminate an employee. As such, it is important to investigate and document any evidence of employee misconduct, and to act accordingly.

 

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Make whole remedies and good faith crucial to mitigation

A recent decision of the BC Court of Appeal provides a cautionary tale for BC employers seeking to remedy a potential wrongful dismissal.

 

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Fixed-term fiasco: Employee profits off of termination of term contract #learnthelatest

Canadian employees are presumptively entitled to “reasonable notice” of termination. Although this entitlement can be limited to some extent by contract, an employee will generally be entitled to some advance notice of the end of their employment. If advance notice is not given, then the employer can satisfy this obligation by making a payment equivalent to the earnings the employee would have received over the notice period.

 

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