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Contracts and employment agreements

All employment relationships in Ontario are deemed to be contractual, whether or not a written contract is in place between the parties. When there is no written contract, the common law (judge-made law) imports a number of obligations into the contract that will bind the employer and the employee.

 

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Ontario Employment Law Conference wrap-up: We learned the latest!

Last Tuesday, over 100 businesses from across Ontario joined us and the employment law team from Stringer LLP to discuss pressing employment issues like avoiding occupational health and safety penalties, accommodating employees’ family status, getting ready for the new Employment Standard, using employment contracts to protect your business, and the perils of employee benefits.

 

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Impact on employees in company mergers can be significant

Anyone following the financial news over the last number of years has no doubt noticed the increasing frequency with which corporations are merging, or being bought out by other corporations. This often results in efficiencies for the corporations, hopefully leading to greater profit. However, the impact on the employees is often overlooked. Whether the transaction is a share purchase, asset purchase, or other type of structure, the impact on the buyers and sellers is clear. However, the impact on the employees is often less certain.

 

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Court confirms high threshold to enjoin a former employee from engaging in competition

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In Survival Systems Training Ltd. v. Survival Systems Ltd., the Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently dismissed a company’s motion for a injunction to prevent former employees from engaging in competitive activities. The Court confirmed that employers must meet a high threshold in order secure an injunction which would effectively prevent a former employee from working in their chosen vocation.

 

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How to craft an enforceable non-solicitation clause

Generally speaking, a restrictive covenant acts to restrict the activities of a former employee after their employment has ended. They usually come in one of two forms: non-competition clauses and non-solicitation clauses. The law on restrictive covenants is that they are prima facie unenforceable as they are in restraint of trade and therefore against public policy. In order to be enforced, they must be proven by the party that seeks to enforce them to be a reasonable limit on trade.

 

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Can employers protect business contacts acquired by employees’ use of social media?

Consider this: you have encouraged your employee to use online social media during work time to build professional contacts to grow your business. The employee goes ahead and invests time during the workday visiting sites like Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. This strategy proves to be positive; the contacts have been part of the business growth you have experienced. Then, your employee wants to leave the company and move on to another job. Can you, as the employer, ask for the contact information the employee accumulated during his or her employment?

 

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Superior court refuses employer’s request for injunction

In yet another example of the reluctance of the Ontario Superior Court to restrict competitive activities of former employees, the Court rejected an employer’s request for an injunction…

 

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Competing with former employers

The Ontario Superior Court re-affirmed the freedom of employees to leave their employer and set up a competitive business.

 

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Employee exodus: has Moses led your employees to the promised land?

You arrive at the office Monday morning to discover that your Senior Vice-President of Marketing and three of your sales people have resigned and accepted jobs with your competitor. You quickly realize that this has the potential of seriously harming, if not destroying, the company’s business. Do you have any recourse against the departing employees or the company to which they have moved?

 

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