The recent decision by an Ontario Small Claims Court (Cao v. SBLR LLP) , even though only at the small claims court level and unlikely to set any legal precedent, is nevertheless a reminder to employers and employees alike that we often tend to assume things about the law which are not true, only to be surprised by the facts when an aggrieved employee decides to challenge an employer’s action.
A well-drafted contract protects not only the company but also its employees and senior personnel. In a recent decision,…
In AMEC Americas Limited v. MacWilliams, 2012 NBCA 46, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal held that an employer’s defence that an employee failed to mitigate his damages by refusing to accept its settlement offers had no merit. As leave to appeal the decision was recently refused by the Supreme Court of Canada, the current answer to our question (at least in New Brunswick) is “no”.
There is an implied term of the employment contract that when an employee is terminated without cause, they will be provided reasonable notice of termination. (Of course, an employer can avoid the reasonable notice requirement by including an express provision regarding termination in the employment contract.)
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice just decided that although an employee was constructively dismissed when he was suddenly “laid off,” the employer did not owe the employee any damages because he failed to mitigate his loss.
On June 21, the Ontario Court of Appeal reversed the trial decision in Bowes v. Goss. It held that the duty to mitigate does not apply where an employment contract contains a clause setting out an employee’s severance entitlement arising from a termination without cause. However, the decision maintains the duty to mitigate where it is expressly incorporated in the employment contract.
Increasingly, Canadian courts have recognized an in-between class of agents that are not technically employees or not technically independent contractors. Over the past few years, our courts have come up with a hybrid category of agents called “dependent contractors.” These are independent individuals who work so closely with employers, and whose relationship status with their “employer” is so sufficiently long-lasting, as to allow them entitlement for reasonable notice.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice just decided that an employer terminated a 65-year-old long-term employee without the proper amount of notice or severance. As a result, the employer had to pay hefty damages, interest and costs award
Termination clauses can be void even if only a possibility they could violate Employment Standards Act
As those who read my comments regularly will know, I recommend that every employee be asked to sign an employment agreement that sets out, among other things, the amount of notice or pay in lieu thereof that will be required in the event of a dismissal without cause. Such a provision will eliminate all of the uncertainty that typically arises at the time of dismissal when the parties must assess, negotiate and possibly litigate what “reasonable notice” would be in light of all the circumstances.
A wrongful dismissal lawsuit can be a potential nightmare for companies no matter what size. Lawsuits carry with them complex claims that are often convoluted and difficult to understand for the non-legal specialist. This blog post will offer a brief overview of the parameters of some of the damages which can be claimed within the context of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.
The recent decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court in Szczypiorkowski v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union is not particularly groundbreaking, but it does affirm a number of important points for employers…
Here’s an interesting case from the British Columbia Court of Appeal. When an employer left a termination letter on a bus driver’s seat for him to find, The Court found there was inadequate notice of termination. The fact that the bus driver left work immediately instead of working the notice period did not negate his right to sue for damages in lieu of notice.
Employers should never accept resignations from employees that are upset. It simply casts a “wider net of possible financial exposure” if things turn nasty. In other words, judges or juries probably won’t sympathize with the issue of resignation acceptance if the employee is genuinely and legitimately upset (not because someone misplaced their red stapler).
As I and others have frequently commented, there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding regarding how our courts determine the amount of notice of dismissal (sometimes referred to as “severance”) an employee is entitled to. The recent decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench in Coppola v. Capital Pontiac Buick Cadillac GMC Ltd. provides a fairly thorough analysis.