First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

wrongful dismissal

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision that clarified the limitation period for a wrongful dismissal claim starts as soon as working notice is provided, the Morneau Shepell survey which shows employers in Canada are expecting salaries to increase by an average of 2.6 percent in 2019, and guidelines on obtaining meaningful consent.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A discussion on performance improvement plans

If an employee has performance issues, and the employer is committed to providing the employee with the opportunity to correct poor performance before terminating their employment, the employer should use a performance improvement plan or PIP to identify in writing such performance issues and make a plan to fix them.

 

, , , , , ,

Putting on the brakes: Ontario courts are limiting the scope post-dismissal mitigatory earnings

Employers must be aware that it is now an increasingly risky strategy to fight a wrongful dismissal case on the hopes of saving money via employee mitigation of loss.

 

, , , , , ,

BC Court of Appeal clarifies employee’s duty to mitigate and necessary deductions for “avoided,” and “avoidable”, loss

A recent BC Court of Appeal decision is a good reminder and summary of the principles underlying an employee’s duty to mitigate following a wrongful dismissal, and confirms that post-termination income in excess of supplementary income that an employee has earned while employed is properly deducted from a wrongful dismissal damages award.

 

, , , , , , , , , ,

Not so constructive feedback: Employer’s unilateral changes result in constructive dismissal

In Robinson v. H.J. Heinz Company of Canada LP, Stinson J. found that the Plaintiff, a long term employee of the Defendant, had been constructively dismissed when the Defendant progressively stripped responsibilities from her position after a merger.

 

, , , , , ,

Accommodation of medical marijuana

The right to accommodation, and the widespread acceptance of medical marijuana, does not mean that employees have a right to use marijuana at work. Safety considerations will be taken into account and although zero tolerance policies will not be automatically enforced, they will be enforced when appropriate.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ontario court overturns just cause dismissal and awards over $97,000 in damages

It is acknowledged by the courts that a just cause dismissal in employment law is tantamount to “capital punishment in the criminal justice system.” While just cause dismissal does require that a high threshold first be established, it will, in certain circumstances be an appropriate and necessary response.

 

, , , , , ,

What happens to employment contracts when an employer sells the assets of its business?

The Court of Appeal for Ontario has confirmed that in an asset sale, a purchaser’s offer of employment to a seller’s employee can constitute consideration for changes in an employment contract — including a new termination clause.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

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.

 

, , , , , , , ,

Previous Posts