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Notice of termination

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.

 

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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.

 

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Employment contracts may need to be amended because of a recent Court of Appeal decision

Bonus plans in employment contracts are a great way to motivate, reward and retain employees. Many of these bonus plans have built–in conditions that must be met before these bonuses are paid out. For example, an employee must be actively employed at the time the bonus is paid. Increasingly, the courts are being asked to determine whether these conditions have to be met and whether a bonus is owing. A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal will come as a surprise to many of you.

 

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An employer’s right when it comes to imposing changes to the employment relationship

At its very core, the employment contract is a very simple one: an individual agrees to work, and the employer agrees to pay them for their effort. Of course, if everything were that simple, then employment lawyers, like myself, would not have very much to do. In addition to the plethora of other issues that can arise, we are often consulted by employers and employees in relation to proposed changes to the contract of employment. The question then becomes: what is an employer’s right to impose changes to the employment relationship/agreement?

 

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Small claims court rules termination clause that violates ESA in future is unenforceable

This decision is another reminder to employers to ensure that termination clauses provide for all entitlements prescribed by the Employment Standards Act in order for them to be considered valid and enforceable. The company in this case should never have carved out its obligation to provide statutory Severance Pay.

 

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Employee or contractor? That is the $64,000 question

For over 25 years, clients have been asking me whether a person is an employee or a contractor in various legal contexts.

 

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Wrongful dismissal: The latest from Ontario’s Court of Appeal

Even though Ontario judges have been using the same test for 55 years to determine how much notice of termination an employee is entitled to receive, employees and employers continue to disagree on an appropriate notice period in individual cases.

 

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Good faith: Vital at all contractual stages

In Meloche c. Structures Lamerain inc., the Court of Appeal recently upheld the Superior Court’s decision to award moral damages, in addition to an award for pay in lieu of notice of termination of employment, to two employees who were dismissed in an abusive manner.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with defaming a former employee; deductibility of membership dues; and, limited notice of termination.

 

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Avoiding common employment law misconceptions

Small to midsize employers, many HR professionals, and many lawyers proceed based upon completely inaccurate understandings of how employment law works. While there are many examples of this, there are three that I see regularly in my practice: the myth that the severance entitlement in Canada is one month per year, regardless of other factors […]

 

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Are your employment contracts enforceable?

2014 Ontario Employment Law Conference

Many employers prepare written employment agreements that limit employee entitlements on termination of employment. In the absence of an enforceable termination provision, employees are entitled to notice of termination at common law, or pay in lieu thereof.

 

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Can an employee be ordered to provide notice of termination?

An employee can be required to provide proper notice of resignation. Failure to do so could result in the employee paying damages to the employer.

 

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Navigating Ontario’s Employment Standards Act

Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (the ESA) sets out the minimum terms of employment for most employees in Ontario. It is a complex law that is difficult to understand. An employer cannot contract out of these minimum standards. Did you know your organization must post a Minister of Labour poster entitled “What You Should Know About The Ontario Employment Standards Act” in your workplace?

 

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Preventing an employee from working during working notice can be constructive dismissal

In Allen v Ainsworth Lumber Co Ltd, 2013 BCCA 271, the British Columbia Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision which held that an employer’s refusal to allow an employee to work during a purported “working notice” period constituted constructive dismissal.

 

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Supreme Court of Canada confirms pension benefits should not be deducted from damages for wrongful dismissal

In the recent decision of IBM Canada Limited v. Waterman 2013 SCC 70 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that an employee’s pension benefits should not be deducted from his/her common law entitlement to pay in lieu of notice arising from a wrongful dismissal.

 

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