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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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terms of employment

Don’t take a chance on it: The uncertainty of ESA-only termination clauses

In January 2017, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its decision in Cook v. Hatch upholding a less than perfect termination clause that failed to reference statutory severance pay or provide for continued health benefits during the statutory notice period. A month later, the Court of Appeal responded with its decision in Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd. where it overturned a motion judge’s ruling upholding a similar termination provision. And so, the age old debate about the enforceability of ESA-only termination provisions rages on.

 

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Can an employment agreement executed after the employee starts work be enforced? The Ontario Court of Appeal says yes.

In Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that a “written employment agreement is not unenforceable merely because the employee signs it after starting to work”. The Court found the trial judge’s inference to be reasonable, noting that Deeley did not claim she reviewed the terms of her employment for the first time on April 24, 2007, or that the contract contained any new material terms. The Court acknowledged that the contract was likely signed the day after Deeley started work as “a matter of administrative convenience.” In these circumstances, fresh consideration was not necessary.

 

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Refusing to relocate: Just cause for dismissal?

It is not uncommon for an organization to move their offices, or to “transfer” an employee from one location to another. Sometimes, the move is across the street, while other moves are across the country or farther. What happens if an employee refuses to relocate?

 

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Employees, corporate transactions and the entrepreneur

An entrepreneur’s workforce grows either through fresh hires or through the acquisition of companies that bring along new employees.  Whether your organization is a large multi-national in a complex mergers and acquisitions (M;&A) transaction or a start-up looking to acquire a 2-person corporation with a new development line or skill set, the employment law implications are complex, yet largely the same.

 

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Danger ahead: Beware of changes to employment agreements

To appreciate the dangers of varying employment terms, we must start with the foundations of contract law. First, a contract requires that each party receive a benefit (consideration). Second, if the parties agree to a variation of contract, but consideration is not received by both parties, Courts will consider the new contract an “unenforceable unilateral variation”. Third…

 

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Danger of fixed term contract avoided

The recent decision in Tossonian v. Cynphany Diamonds Inc. highlights the importance for both employees and employers to clearly specify the fundamental terms of an employment contract in writing including the “term” of the contract.

 

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Private member’s bill would curtail unpaid internships

Opposition MPP Jonah Schein has introduced a private member’s bill to place stricter limits on unpaid internships in Ontario. Bill 170, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 2014, doesn’t seek to eliminate unpaid internships entirely, but rather hopes to make employers more accountable and give interns (and students) more legal clout.

 

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The importance of a well-crafted employment agreement

Despite being one of the most basic and fundamental legal protections employers can have, many employers do not use written employment agreements when they hire new employees.

 

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Employee’s options after constructive dismissal

What does an employee do if she has been constructively dismissed but has not been told to leave her employ? Is she still entitled to continue to work for the employer and look for alternative employment? Is she obligated to do so?

 

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