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2018 will be a pivotal year for employers and HR managers in Ontario – #LearnTheLatest

With most of the amendments of Bill 148 now in effect—along with significant updates to OHS and WCB provisions, the upcoming legalization of recreational marijuana, and more on the way—there are many substantial changes employers in Ontario have to deal with now and throughout 2018.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the interpretation and enforceability of termination clauses, changes and improvements to services, benefits and credits for Canadians for the new tax filing season and improved ways for businesses to meet their reporting obligations.

 

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Wal-Mart’s “deplorable” pre and post termination conduct results in a sizeable $750,000.00 moral and punitive damages award

Recently, in Galea v. Wal-Mart (2017 ONSC 245) the Ontario Superior Court released a decision in a wrongful termination matter involving a Wal-Mart Executive Gail Galea (“Galea”) and the “reprehensible” termination conduct of Wal-Mart. In addition to the usual wrongful termination damages such as salary, benefits, bonuses, etc., the Court awarded a whopping $750,000.00 in moral and punitive damages combined.

 

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5 employment law predictions for 2018

What’s in store in 2017 for HR and payroll

‘Tis the Season and 2017 is coming to a close. With this, I am predicting some of the trends to follow from an employment law perspective of 2018. Here are 5 trends to follow in the new year.

 

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The damages formerly known as Wallace – Are they still relevant?

It has been about eight years since the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Honda Canada v Keays, which dramatically altered the law with respect to damages relating to bad faith conduct in the course of dismissal. Is the topic still relevant? A recent Ontario decision confirms that it is.

 

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Constructive dismissal and employer prestige

In 2016, the Court of Appeal of Quebec has clarified that reduced employer prestige cannot, in itself, serve as grounds for constructive dismissal in the specific context of business acquisitions.

 

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Don’t make promises you can’t keep (even inadvertent ones) – a good lesson for all BC employers

health-benefits

The recent decision of the BC Supreme Court in Feldstein v. 364 Northern Development Corporation provides a cautionary tale for well-meaning employers seeking to provide compensation and benefits package details to candidates during the interview process.

 

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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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Separation anxiety: Prepare for employee exits

The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia highlights the duality of employee exits. For exits like Justice Scalia’s, it is unlikely that within hours of death, friends and family ponder the vacuum and replacement challenges the employer will face. Exits like Justice Scalia’s may precipitate introspection by remaining employees – resolutions to focus on family and work-life balance; or a realization that regardless of the power or indispensability of a role, in the end it really is “just a job”, because, as far as we know, we leave it all behind.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with three cases: One case looks at the “suitability test” to establish whether the employer acted in good faith; the second case looks at constructive dismissal; and the third case addresses the question of whether employers can terminate disobedient employees for cause.

 

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This employer’s case had 99 problems – Proving cause was one

A recent case out of Calgary, Karmel v. Calgary Jewish Academy, presents some valuable lessons for Alberta employers. This case involves a wrongful dismissal lawsuit by a terminated School Principal, Mr. Karmel, who was alleged to have been disobedient.

 

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Working through the notice period

Let’s begin with a point that comes as a surprise to many employees and employers: there is nothing legally wrong with providing an employee with working notice of their dismissal and requiring that they continue to attend at work and perform their duties throughout the notice period.

 

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Severance limiting clauses CAN work especially in employment agreements

A recent Ontario Superior Court decision reinforces some basic principles previously discussed on this Blog (and unfortunately often missed or forgotten by employers). In Asgari v 975866 Ontario Ltd, a motion for summary judgment was decided in the Plaintiff’s favour. One issue was whether a clause, purporting to limit the Plaintiff’s pay in lieu of notice entitlements to the statutory minimum, was enforceable.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an independent medical examination; wilful misconduct; and, 27 months of common law reasonable notice.

 

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Frustration of contract

The concept of frustration of contract continues to frustrate employers as we enter the year 2016. Unfortunately, many employers confuse their own frustration with absent employees with frustration at law.

 

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