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Dismissal

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.

 

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Tips on the right way to fire employees in Ontario

Each employee dismissal will come with its own unique circumstances and challenges. However, with sufficient planning, organization and sensitivity to the employee, it is possible to get through the dismissal process in respectful fashion, while avoiding the creation of problems that may later come back to haunt the employer.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with marijuana in the workplace, proposed parental leave benefit and workplace harassment as a WSIB claim.

 

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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.

 

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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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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a repeal of an increase in OAS age of eligibility, an employer’s refusal to pay bonus not amounting to constructive dismissal and the determination that an employee’s cessation of LTD benefits couldn’t advance by way of action.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Supreme Court rules on drug-related dismissal; Harassment as an independent cause of action; and Server awarded damages for sexual harassment.

 

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Ontario court: “Total payroll” must be considered when assessing employer severance pay obligation

The Wissing case is an important decision for Ontario employees and employers alike. It confirms that in assessing an employee’s entitlement to statutory severance pay, the Courts will look at the employer’s total payroll, not just that of its Ontario operations.

 

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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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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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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.

 

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3 tax tips for employers: Negotiating a settlement

Given the majority of legal disputes that settle before going to trial, the role of a modern civil litigator has shifted from not only being a courtroom specialist, but also being an expert in negotiation. The main goal in almost all negotiations for an employee is to extract a large payout, while the goal for the employer is to settle the claim while paying out as little as possible. Though lawyers use different techniques for extracting these results for their clients, I wanted to share three simple tips that are often overlooked when employers are negotiating a settlement.

 

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Employee awarded $50,000 in punitive damages in wrongful dismissal claim

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently awarded an employee $50,000 in punitive damages in a wrongful dismissal claim because it was “rationally required” to punish the employer for its behaviour toward the employee and to meet “the objectives of retribution, deterrence, and denunciation”.

 

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The need for clear warning before dismissal

I have often discussed the need for warnings in the context of summary dismissal. While some situations will justify dismissal based upon a single incident, in many cases our courts and arbitrators will require progressive discipline. Whatever the steps may be, it is critical that the messaging to the subject employee be clear: the conduct or behavior is unacceptable, and further instances will lead to discipline, which can include termination for cause.

 

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