First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

employment contract

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.

 

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

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Employers seeking to change an employee’s terms and conditions of employment; OHRC guidelines on medical information and disability-related accommodation; CRA Income Tax Folio S4-F2-C2, Business Use of Home Expenses.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Family Day February 20: Which provinces have a day off with pay?

In Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan, Family Day is recognized as a public (statutory) holiday and employees get the day off with pay, if eligible. Each year, these provinces celebrate Family Day on the third Monday in February. In 2017, Monday, February 20 is Family Day.

 

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

Uncertainty with termination clauses continues

There are few areas of employment law more in flux (and vexing to lawyers) than that surrounding the enforcement of termination clauses. Part of the frustration is when the Courts provide seemingly contradictory messages on whether termination clauses will be upheld. In January 2017 alone, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released two decisions that appear, on their face, to be somewhat at odds.

 

, , , , ,

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.

 

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

Employment contract oversight proves costly

As an employment lawyer, my consistent advice to employers is, whether you have one employee or one hundred employees, every employer needs to have written employment contracts. There are a number of ways that employment contracts can avoid or reduce liability, but the single most valuable term to include is a termination clause. In a written employment contract, employers have the opportunity to limit what can otherwise be a significant liability to their employees for termination pay, also referred to as severance or reasonable notice of termination.

 

, , , , , , ,

Constructive dismissal and employer prestige

In 2016, the Court of Appeal of Quebec has clarified that reduced employer prestige cannot, in itself, serve as grounds for constructive dismissal in the specific context of business acquisitions.

 

, , , , , , ,

Le congédiement déguisé et employeur prestige

En 2016, la Cour d’appel du Québec a conclu que, dans le contexte de l’aliénation d’une entreprise, le fait pour un employé de passer à un employeur moins prestigieux ne peut, en soi, constituer un congédiement déguisé.

 

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

Termination provisions in employment contracts

As an employee, by law, you are entitled to reasonable notice of termination of your employment. Employers however, often attempt to limit your legal entitlements by explicitly defining your rights upon termination in the employment contract. In the recent case of Singh v Qualified Metal Fabricators Ltd. an Ontario Court adopted an employee–friendly interpretation of these termination provisions, resolving the potential ambiguities in favour of the employee. While employers are allowed to contractually limit employees’ common–law reasonable notice requirements, they are required to do so with complete precision.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

2017 workplace resolutions and fresh starts

January is a month of resolutions, fresh starts, and goals. It’s also a good time to run away from 2016 and the upsets and surprises the year rolled out. Here are 3 lessons that 2016 taught us as we all dig in to a new year in the workplace.

 

, , , , , ,

HR law and payroll 2017, what is in store?

At the beginning of a new year, it’s good to wonder what is in store in 2017 for HR law and payroll? Let’s discuss and provide practical steps HR and payroll can take to prepare for these trends and changes.

 

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

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: A matter where the court had to determine the enforceability of a promoted employee’s new employment contract, particularly the termination clause; current and 2017 payroll rates; and PRPP legislation that is now in force in Ontario.

 

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

Fresh consideration and employment contracts

When a company promotes an employee, the employer should provide the employee with a new contract to sign prior to allowing the employee to commence his or her duties. In that way, the company is providing the employee with “fresh consideration” to make the contract enforceable. Consideration is the legal word for the exchange of something of value to make contracts enforceable and in a promotion it takes the form of the increased salary that comes with the new job. If the company allows the employee to be promoted and then has the employee sign an employment contract after the promotion has already taken place, there is a chance the employee can argue the terms of the contract that were not discussed pre–promotion should not be enforced for lack of fresh consideration rendering the terms of the contract unenforceable.

 

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

Termination clauses – The legal debate

It appears that the saga of judicial interpretation and consideration of termination clauses will continue, with predictably unpredictable results. Courts will enforce termination clauses that limit an individual’s entitlement to notice of dismissal, but the onus will be on the employer to show that the clause should be enforced.

 

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

Ontario judge strikes down yet another termination clause

Some employment contracts have termination clauses which state that an employee will receive notice of termination “in accordance with the Employment Standards Act” or words to that effect. The purpose of this clause is to take away the employee’s right to common law “reasonable” notice of termination. In 2000 an Ontario Superior Court judge concluded that this kind of language meant that an employer was only required to provide the employee with the minimum notice of termination stipulated in the ESA. Advantage employers.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts Next posts