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wrongful dismissal

Commitment to “comply with statute” not enough to displace common law rights on termination

This decision serves as an important reminder to employers to draft clear and enforceable termination provisions in order to avoid unanticipated liability upon termination. In particular, the Movati decision confirms that should an employer want to limit its obligations upon termination to the minimum entitlements required by statute, it is necessary to include clear words of limitation.


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Wal-Mart employee awarded $250,000 in moral damages and $500,000 in punitive damages

Wal-Mart was found to have breached its duty as it was trying to find a new position for Ms. Galea. I don’t know if this case will turn out to be an outlier, but in the meantime employers should be very careful when dealing with an employee who is between jobs within the organization.


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Employee awarded 12 months’ pay and $24k in legal fees from employer who undermined her efforts to find new employment

In a recent case titled Ste-Croix v. Al-Hashimi and Jawad Dentistry, following a termination without cause the Ontario Superior Court of Justice canvassed what constitutes “reasonable notice” and the factors the court will consider, what comprises reasonable efforts to mitigate damages, and when a motion for summary judgment is preferable to an unnecessary trial.


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Divisional court finds employer demonstrated bad faith and acted as “puppeteer” in wrongful termination case of fixed-term independent contractor

The recent case of Radikov v. Premier Project Consultants Ltd et al. is a cautionary tale of the importance of good faith in consulting contracts after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Premier’s appeal, finding Premier had acted as a “puppeteer” by keeping Mr. Radikov at its “beck and call” before terminating his fixed term contract two days before completion and refusing to pay the outstanding fixed-term contract price.


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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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British Columbia Supreme Court rules on reasonable notice when an employee is terminated before their first day of work

In Buchanan v. Introjunction Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1002, the Court considered a case where the employer terminated the plaintiff’s employment before he commenced work. The Court rejected employer’s argument that the probation period clause applied to limit its liability to provide notice of termination of employment.


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Employers beware: Punitive damages for improper just cause allegations

Two recent Small Claims Court cases demonstrate the courts’ willingness to sanction employers for improper just cause allegations. These cases highlight the fact that employers need to be cautious in asserting just cause.


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Reinstatement of employment at the Human Rights Tribunal

Reinstatement is the practice of re-installing an employee to his/her position as it existed prior to termination, or to the fullest extent possible, which may include the preservation of their pre-existing seniority, pension and other benefits.


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Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited: Termination clause fails to rebut employee’s entitlement to reasonable notice

A recent summary judgment motion before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited, serves as an important reminder to employers of the need to draft contractual termination clauses with a high degree of clarity, or risk unanticipated liability in the event of a without cause dismissal.


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Post-termination bonus entitlement

Bonus entitlement is always a juicy topic. In September the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released a decision that shed some light on the issue of how entitlement to a bonus will be treated where an employer has no formal bonus policy, but a consistent past practice.


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Clock on limitation period for wrongful dismissal claim starts on day of notice – not last day worked

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms that the limitation period in respect of a wrongful dismissal claim commences on the day that the employee is provided notice of the termination, not on the last day the employee works.


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Sloan v. Just Energy Corporation: Pregnancy and fairness under the Code

The Code protects employees from discrimination based on various protected grounds. One of the more difficult of these may be pregnancy, as often the question becomes not whether or not the applicant was pregnant, but rather when the employer became aware of the pregnancy, and whether or not the pregnancy was a factor in the employee’s termination.


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A primer on undue hardship and frustration of contract

This blog post provides a primer on the state of undue harship and frustration of contract under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.


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Must you include bonuses when calculating lost wages?

In the case, Bain v. UBS, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice tackled the issue of whether bonuses are too be included when calculating the income that an individual would have earned during a period of reasonable notice.


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Fishing for notice: British Columbia Supreme Court addresses inducement and contingency factors in wrongful dismissal suits

Care is required when recruiting a potential employee, but not all active recruitment activities qualify as inducement. More than giving the employee the impression there is room to grow or job security is required. Actual evidence of promises made by the company and the employee’s reliance upon those promises is necessary to sustain a determination of inducement. Nevertheless, employers can avoid claims of inducement by using written employment agreements that contain “entire agreement” clauses and confirm that the employee has not been induced by any promises.


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