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notice period

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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Important decision regarding mitigation of damages following termination

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., recently clarified the law of mitigation.

 

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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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Medical evidence and employee absences

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms that employers are within their rights to require medical notes when employees are absent from work. However, this decision stands as a warning to employers that although they can ask, they may not be able to summarily terminate an employee who fails to comply.

 

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Illness or disability during the notice period

Interestingly, the events following termination of employment do not affect an employee’s entitlement to notice. This includes the situation where an employee is terminated and shortly thereafter becomes ill or disabled. Our courts have dealt with this situation by suggesting a longer notice period may be warranted because the employee may find it more difficult to find alternate employment.

 

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Can an employee “sign away” their human rights?: Brown v. Prime Communications Canada Inc.

The question of “can an employee “sign away” their human rights?” became relevant in a recent case. After signing a release with her employer, the Applicant filed an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario alleging discrimination with respect to employment because of sex contrary to the Human Rights Code.

 

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Beware of the one month per year of service “rule”, part 5

I have written several times about cases which significantly depart from the so-called one month per year of service rule. There continues to be a seemingly never-ending stream of cases which confirm the perils of assuming that an employer’s liability for reasonable notice of termination will be capped at one month per year of employment.

 

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Fixed-term fiasco: Employee profits off of termination of term contract #learnthelatest

Canadian employees are presumptively entitled to “reasonable notice” of termination. Although this entitlement can be limited to some extent by contract, an employee will generally be entitled to some advance notice of the end of their employment. If advance notice is not given, then the employer can satisfy this obligation by making a payment equivalent to the earnings the employee would have received over the notice period.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the ban on e-cigarettes; an employee refusing to work the notice period; and, managing short-term absences.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with employer vicarious liability for employee misconduct; reasonable notice and the failure to mitigate; and, the legal definition of “immediate family” for the purpose of bereavement leave.

 

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Beware of the one month per year of service “rule”, part 4

I have written several times about cases which significantly depart from the so-called one month per year of service rule. There continues to be a seemingly never-ending stream of cases which confirm the perils of assuming that an employer’s liability for reasonable notice of termination will be capped at one month per year of employment.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an independent medical examination; wilful misconduct; and, 27 months of common law reasonable notice.

 

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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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Commencement of notice period when employee is dismissed while on disability leave

Sometimes, individuals will be dismissed from their jobs at a time when they are on disability leave. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as the decision to dismiss is entirely unrelated to the employee’s disability. For example, if an organization decides to eliminate a department of ten people, one of which is currently […]

 

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Employers must “trust” employees to account for mitigation earnings during notice period

A typical wrongful dismissal case (where cause is not an issue) generally involves two legal issues. First, how much reasonable notice of termination (or pay in lieu) should the employee have received based on the employee’s age, length of service, position, compensation and the availability of comparable employment. Second, did the employee mitigate his/her damages by finding alternative employment or failing to make reasonable efforts to do so during the notice period? Notably, a judge can decrease the notice period based on the employee’s unreasonable mitigation efforts.

 

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