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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with workplace romances, longer notice periods and accommodating a disability.

 

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Aggravated damages are aggravating employers

Employers must be honest, candid and forthright with employees. Failure to do can result in a judge ordering an employer to pay an employee aggravated damages.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal confirms 24 month cap on notice periods absent exceptional circumstances

For as long as I have been practicing, we have referred to a “24 month cap” of notice when it comes to reasonable notice of dismissal pursuant to common law.

 

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Top five things to consider when dismissing an employee

The decision to terminate an individual’s employment is not an easy one. At times, however, whether due to economic pressures, or poor performance, it may nevertheless be necessary.

 

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Failure to disclose planned layoff costs employer 22 months pay and 20K punitive damages

Mr. Jonasson, a 55 year old engineer with 22 years’ service with Nexen Energy was thinking about either retiring or taking a leave of absence. He decided to request a six month leave of absence. The employer agreed to his leave request if he entered into an agreement about the company’s obligations at the end of his leave.

 

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Fired by a robot!

We have truly reached an age where people and robots are working together and where robots are effectively performing an HR function. HR, unlike a self-checkout or an assembly line robot, is something we normally think of as a soft, people only skill!

 

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Double bonus: Court sides with employer on bonus entitlement, calculation appeals

Employers are often vexed by bonus entitlement and calculation issues when weighing termination decisions and defending claims for wrongful dismissal. Bonus disputes are invariably complex and costly.

 

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Can an employee refuse a recall from a temporary layoff?

Contrary to popular belief, a temporary layoff generally constitutes a wrongful dismissal which requires an employer to pay the laid off employee termination pay.

 

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OCA upholds ESA related termination clause

In Nemeth v Hatch (2018 ONCA 7), the Court was faced with the following termination clause:

 

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Arbitrator orders nurse who was caught stealing narcotics to be reinstated

Is it a discriminatory practice and potential breach of the Ontario Human Right Code for a nursing home to prohibit nurses from stealing narcotics?

 

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Wrongful dismissal update: Recent case is a cause for concern

frustrated-cause-for-dismissal

It is increasingly difficult for employment lawyers to assess an employer’s potential legal liability in connection with an employee termination.

 

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Is 36 months the new 24?

For a long time, the common law notice period had an “unofficial” cap of 24 months, which was generally reserved for very long-service, senior level management. In recent years, things have changed and longer notice periods are becoming the norm.

 

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Time as an independent contractor can be considered in the calculation of severance

This case demonstrates that employers need to know that if they hire their independent contractors into a genuine “employee” position, that time they spent as an independent contractor may be calculated in establishing their right to severance.

 

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Simply complying with the ESA not enough to rebut common law presumption of entitlement to reasonable notice – ON Divisional Court

Is the sole requirement to rebut the common law presumption of termination only upon reasonable notice that the contractual termination clause comply with the ESA, or is something else required?

 

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Potential reprisal complaint on the horizon? Act fast!

Where an employee may argue that they were terminated due to raising health and safety or workplace violence/harassment concerns, they have an avenue for redress open to them under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

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