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wrongful dismissal damages

OHSA in wonderland: Through the looking glass

If an employee alleges a violation of section 50 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) then the employer must prove there has been no violation. This is called a reverse onus clause which means an employer must prove it did not violate OHSA. After a brief summary of the remedies that are available to employees under section 50 of OHSA, this blog discusses three recent cases.

 

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Probationary clauses: A double-edged sword for employers

Many employers find it necessary to assess new employees’ performance on the job before making a final determination about whether an individual is suitable for a position. In the absence of an express term in an employment contract, employees in Canada are entitled to reasonable notice of termination at common law when they are dismissed without just cause. Many employers put terms in their employment contracts, such as probationary clauses, which limit this entitlement. However, employers may not always be clear on the implications of such clauses.

 

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3 tax tips for employers: Negotiating a settlement

Given the majority of legal disputes that settle before going to trial, the role of a modern civil litigator has shifted from not only being a courtroom specialist, but also being an expert in negotiation. The main goal in almost all negotiations for an employee is to extract a large payout, while the goal for the employer is to settle the claim while paying out as little as possible. Though lawyers use different techniques for extracting these results for their clients, I wanted to share three simple tips that are often overlooked when employers are negotiating a settlement.

 

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Wrongful dismissal update: More kinds of damages being ordered

Once upon a time, employees did not sign employment contracts with termination clauses and employment lawyers fought over the appropriate “reasonable” notice period. In 2017, however, employees now claim in addition to wrongful dismissal damages, human rights damages, moral or Wallace damages, punitive damages, and damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress.

 

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Employers: A shining example of how not to treat your employees

Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly. A prime example of employer misconduct for failing to accommodate and providing reasonable notice is the case of Strudwick v Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc. This case highlights a number of important lessons for employers.

 

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Disabled employee earning $22,000 per year awarded $110,000 damages

Many employees now claim more than one type of legal damages in a wrongful dismissal case. This is particularly the case when the employee is disabled. The following case is a good example.

 

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Superior Court applies the “Johnstone test” for family status discrimination in wrongful dismissal action

We have written before on the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Johnstone v Canada (Border Services), which helpfully crafted a clear and balanced test for family status discrimination in the context of childcare (the “Johnstone test”). The Ontario Superior Court has released the first reported decision in Ontario to apply the “Johnstone test” in the context of a wrongful dismissal action.

 

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Can an employer be liable to an employee for previous service to a related employer?

In unionized industries and in particular the construction sector, there are well established rules governing when multiple companies can be considered a single employer under the law. Dozens of multiple employer applications per year are brought in Ontario alone.  The same cannot be said about common employer determinations in the non-unionized sector. However, a recent case heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with such a situation.

 

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Old employment contracts can come back to bite you – or help you

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court considered the termination of an employee of Open Text Corporation who had been working for Open Text and its predecessor corporations for 17 years. There was no agreement governing his employment with the first company and it received little updating through two more acquisitions. When he was terminated, he complained that the original contract was void due to the transitions and sued for common law notice…

 

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Motions for judgment in wrongful dismissal − the Court of Appeal’s latest statement

One of the difficulties faced by plaintiffs’ counsel in wrongful dismissal litigation is the length of time it can require to get a case to trial and obtain monetary compensation for the dismissed employee. Obviously, a plaintiff without a job is sensitive to the costs and delay which may result. This issue can often be addresses by way of a Motion for Summary Judgment.

 

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Obligations to disabled employees

Dealing with disabled employees can be a vexing issue for most employers. A number of questions arise when an employee takes time off either temporarily or permanently due to a disability, whether physical or mental. These issues include:

 

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Employers’ strategic use of employees’ duty to mitigate

Mitigation of damages in the context of a wrongful dismissal claim is one of those concepts that is often referred to but not well understood.

 

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