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statutory notice

Resignation regrets: Employee’s failure to provide reasonable notice of departure costs him $56,116.11

When employers think of reasonable notice, they tend to be concerned with whether sufficient notice of dismissal is provided by the employer to the employee. However, an important subject that garners far less attention is what notice a departing employee must provide to the employer.

 

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Managing risk in not-for-cause employee terminations

My Human Resources college professors used to ask students on a regular basis when it was OK for employers to terminate employees without cause. The answer, in theory, is that the employer can terminate an employee at any time! However…

 

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Beware of using one month notice per year of service ‘rule of thumb’

One of the questions at the forefront of many employers’ minds when they are considering terminating an employee without cause is how much it is going to cost. Unless there is a written employment contract with an express termination clause, an employer’s obligation is to provide reasonable notice of termination. Since there is no set formula for determining the appropriate length of the reasonable notice period, employers (or their legal counsel) must estimate what they think the notice period could be, having regard to the employee’s age, length of service, character of employment, the availability of similar employment, and the employee’s skills and training. Often, employers and their legal counsel will use a rough rule of thumb of one month notice per year of service (although the courts have denied that such a rule of thumb exists).

 

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Notice of dismissal must be clear, specific, and unequivocal

Two recent cases have confirmed a long-standing principle: in order to be effective, notice of dismissal must be clear, specific and unequivocal. Among other things, a definite terminate date must be specified. Otherwise, in most cases, the “notice” will not be effective, and the employer will be on the hook for additional notice or pay in lieu thereof.

 

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What’s wrong with this picture? Settlement excludes amount of vacation pay owing

In Ontario, employers owe vacation pay on employee wages. Wages are defined in section 1 of the Employment Standards Act to include “any payment required to be made by an employer to an employee.” Here is where it gets tricky. In Ontario, the employment standards may require two separate types of payments to an employee who is terminated without cause.

 

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Was it a termination or a resignation? Credibility was key

In a recent case coming out of the Court of Queen’s Bench of New Brunswick, the Court believed the employee’s story that he was terminated without cause, rather than the employer’s story that the employee resigned. When looking at the facts, the Court found the employee to be the more credible witness and awarded termination notice of 23 months.

 

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Is severance pay required when an employee is terminated?

When I speak at conferences, I am often asked the following question: “Is severance pay required when an employee is terminated?”

Before this question can be answered, we have to first confront the difficulty that some payroll terms traditionally used to describe both termination, as well as any payments resulting from this event, haven’t always been defined with the greatest of clarity. My preference has always been for those terms that convey the clearest meaning of the related employment standards and source deduction requirements.

 

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Top ten employment law myths and mistakes in employment contracts

I recently attended the Law Society’s annual Employment Law Summit, which is always filled with top-notch employment lawyers providing valuable insight and practical advice on issues relating to employment law and human resources. Many of the discussions touched upon issues relating to the use of employment agreements, including termination clauses. The comments caused me to consider my own experiences in dealing with…

 

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The importance of notice and manner of dismissal

I recently read an Alberta case where a financial consultant, a top performer, was terminated without notice. The court found he was wrongfully dismissed and terminated in an insensitive manner; this error in judgment cost the employer $2.2 million in damages.

 

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