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Long-term construction employees may be entitled to reasonable notice of termination

Generally, construction employees are not entitled to termination or severance pay under the Employment Standards Act (the “Act”). Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 288/01 of the Act explicitly exempts them from such minimum employment standards. However, a long-term construction employee may still be entitled to common law reasonable notice, which is much more lucrative than what the Act provides for anyway. Nevertheless, how much notice a construction employee is entitled to under the common law remains an unsettled test in Ontario.

 

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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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Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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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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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Repeat violators from 2016 blitz; whether employer-employee relationship existed; and Labour force survey, April 2017.

 

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Wood vs. Oudin: Clarity in termination provisions

In Wood v Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal seemed to make a definitive statement about the interpretation of termination provisions in employment agreements: a court will invalidate them when they contain actual or technical deficiencies. However, the same Court’s decision last year in Oudin v Centre Francophone de Toronto seemed to reach a different conclusion: the court will apply contractual certainty to give effect to the parties’ intentions. Can the two be reconciled? Closer inspection reveals that each decision is specific to the employment agreements in each.

 

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Additional employer obligations? Domestic and sexual violence

As of the writing of this blog, Bill 26 has passed second reading and is before the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly for consultation and, so it remains to be seen if the above changes will come into force. That said, with the recent legislative attention on protecting employees with respect to sexual harassment and violence, it is likely that employers may soon need to revisit their policies and programs to account for domestic and sexual violence.

 

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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.

 

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Employer risk 101 – Ministry enforcement of the ESA

If you are reading an employment law blog you already know that employers have legal obligations under the Ontario Employment Standards Act. The top five violations for the fiscal year 2014/2015, as compiled by the Ministry of Labour, were with respect to…

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the end of production of the Social Insurance Number card, changes to the old age security pension plan and Ontario introducing three leaves of absence to help families.

 

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What you should know about the Ontario Employment Standards Act

Most employers in Ontario are aware that the Employment Standards Act imposes standards on employers with respect to the treatment of employees. However, many are not aware that they are required to display a poster issued by the Ministry of Labour titled, “What You Should Know about the Employment Standards Act.” This poster, which can be downloaded from the ministry’s website, advises employees of their rights with respect to employment standards of hours of work, wages, public holidays and more…

 

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The enforceability of termination provisions within contracts of employment

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The employment relationship is a contractual one whether or not a contract of employment was signed. Contracts can be express or implied contracts, i.e., you agree to work and I agree to pay you. Verbal bargains are nearly always upheld as long as those implied contracts are governed by particular employment standards and obligations established by the common law.

 

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The sale of a business and some implications for employers and employees

Last month I was consulted by a woman with respect to a new employment agreement that she wanted reviewed. The employment opportunity presented to her was by a company that had purchased the software company she was currently employed with for the past 19 years. Her salary remained the same, as did the total of her bonus, although the bonus structure was altered to reflect seemingly unattainable goals. While the new bonus structure did in fact reflect the purchasing company’s exact bonus structure with all of its existing employees, this arrangement was originally her main concern.

 

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Remembrance Day, public holiday in some jurisdictions and a memorial day in others

In Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador Remembrance Day is a paid public (statutory) holiday under the Employment Standards Act. Employees get a day off with regular pay and/or holiday pay; if the employee is required to work on the holiday, the employee must be paid regular wages and get a substituted day off with pay at a later date (depending on the province or territory of employment). Federally regulated employees also have a holiday on Remembrance Day.

 

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