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terminated without cause

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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: A case where an employee filed an Application alleging that he was subjected to differential treatment on the basis of Human Rights Code grounds ; a case where an employer was able to rely on a termination provision to justify the payment made to the employee when he was terminated without cause; and Ontario’s new legislation addressing sexual harassment (Bill 132).

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with AODA January 1, 2017 compliance deadline; performance based incentives; and, the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.

 

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New rule of thumb: 6 months’ pay per year of service?

So much for the rule of thumb that an employee should receive one month of notice for every year of service. The Toronto Star has reported on a recent wrongful dismissal decision that Ontario employers should consider, especially when hiring senior managers or executives.

 

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Contracting out of the Ontario Employment Standards Act

The Employment Standards Act in Ontario is legislation designed to protect the rights of all workers in the province. Under section 3, the Act specifies that it applied to any employee in the Province of Ontario, or any employee who is performing work outside of Ontario that is “…continuance of work performed in Ontario.” The Act contains numerous protections for Ontario employees, such as limiting the maximum hours of work in a week, providing an entitlement to overtime pay, and creating entitlements such as parental leave, vacation and personal leave. The Act also provides for the employee’s rights in the event of a termination of employment. Many employers have perceived these entitlements as onerous in some circumstances. In order to attempt to avoid such payments, or other obligations under the Act, employers have sought to have employees sign contracts containing provisions which purport to surrender the employee’s rights under the Act. This is generally referred to as “contracting out”.

 

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Another reason why an employment contract should contain a termination clause

Just like pre-nuptial agreements, employers should contemplate termination when their employment contracts are drafted. A recent case illustrates why it is important to include a legally enforceable termination clause in an employment contract for all employees.

 

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Even in the absence of a release, employee who accepted a termination package not entitled to additional damages

If an employee negotiates a termination package with an employer but does not sign a release, can they successfully claim additional pay in lieu of notice in a court action? Interestingly, the Ontario Superior Court recently held that the answer for one employee in these circumstances was “no”.

 

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Long service employee awarded reasonable notice beyond 24 months

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.)

 

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Summertime, when everybody wants vacation

Under the provisions of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, every employee is entitled to a minimum of two weeks vacation after twelve consecutive months of employment. Of course, this is subject to…

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal deals with stock grants and termination

Long gone are the days when employees would receive pay cheques at the end of the week and possibly a Christmas bonus each year. Compensation for employees, particularly senior employees, has become increasingly complex as employers seek to incent specific behaviours among their executives. In addition, changing tax laws and the wild gyrations of the stock markets have made stock options more difficult to administer and less appealing to employees.

 

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