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termination pay

Ontario Court of Appeal addresses the issue of what constitutes mitigation income

The Court addressed the issue of what constitutes mitigation income for purposes of assessing any required deductions from common law entitlements.

 

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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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Requesting background checks after employment starts

In a recent Ontario Superior Court decision it was held that an employer’s decision to request a criminal background check after employment had commenced was lawful under the applicable 12–month fixed term contract and the employee was not entitled to damages when her employment was terminated after she refused to consent to the background check.

 

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Employment contract oversight proves costly

As an employment lawyer, my consistent advice to employers is, whether you have one employee or one hundred employees, every employer needs to have written employment contracts. There are a number of ways that employment contracts can avoid or reduce liability, but the single most valuable term to include is a termination clause. In a written employment contract, employers have the opportunity to limit what can otherwise be a significant liability to their employees for termination pay, also referred to as severance or reasonable notice of termination.

 

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Termination clauses – The legal debate

It appears that the saga of judicial interpretation and consideration of termination clauses will continue, with predictably unpredictable results. Courts will enforce termination clauses that limit an individual’s entitlement to notice of dismissal, but the onus will be on the employer to show that the clause should be enforced.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: a case where an employer’s appeal to not pay unpaid wages and termination pay was somewhat successful; a matter where an arbitrator issued very different decisions when it came to two employees who grieved their terminations; and two cases that address employee entitlement to damages in lieu of a bonus on termination.

 

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Silence proves costly: employment agreements and reasonable notice

Employers who fail to incorporate a binding termination clause into their written employment agreements may face significant, and unexpected, liability for severance. This lesson was learned the hard way by Qualified Metal Fabricators (“QML”) in a recent case out of Toronto.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with statutory severance pay; unjust dismissal; and, napping while on duty.

 

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OLRB rules that sleeping on the job does not constitute “intentional misconduct” under ESA

Anyone involved in human resources may think that if an employee who works in a manufacturing facility surrounded by potential health and safety hazards is found sleeping on the job on more than one occasion, they should be dismissed for cause and disentitled to severance of any kind. That would be a reasonable “gut reaction” to this type of fact situation. In fact, such decisions are routinely upheld by both the courts and labour arbitrators.

 

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Common traps that many Ontario employers fall into in the course of termination

This post is focused on common traps that many employers fall into in the course of termination. While it is written from the perspective of employers, each of these points applies equally to employees, since an individual that misunderstands these issues will fail to enforce their legal rights and end up leaving substantial amounts of money on the table when they lose their job.

 

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Ontario’s Liberal government introduces employee friendly laws

On November 6, 2014, Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 received third reading at the Ontario legislature. When Bill 18 receives Royal Assent several significant changes will take effect that will benefit employees.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the substantial failures of an employer’s management policy; the consequences of failing to pay employees on time; and, an employee’s access request to records.

 

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