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wrongful dismissal

Mutual release set aside due to fraudulent misrepresentation

In Markicevic v York University (2018 ONCA 813), the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s decision to set aside a settlement with its ex-employee to whom they had paid 36 months severance pay only to find out later that he had actually ripped them off for a million dollars.

 

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Are employees entitled to receive damages for variable compensation during the reasonable notice period?

Some employees receive a large percentage of their total remuneration in variable compensation. A much litigated issue is whether the employer is required to pay variable compensation to a terminated employee during the applicable notice period and if so how is this compensation calculated.

 

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Can an employee refuse a recall from a temporary layoff?

Contrary to popular belief, a temporary layoff generally constitutes a wrongful dismissal which requires an employer to pay the laid off employee termination pay.

 

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If the punishment fits: The Court of Appeal upholds Ruston v. Keddco Mfg. (2001) Ltd.

Our legal system is designed to implement a stringent appeals process. When an unsuccessful party truly believes that the Court ‘got it wrong,’ either because they wrongly assessed the facts or wrongly applied the law (or in some cases both), they have the power to appeal to a higher court who can review the ruling and issue their own determination, as was the case with Ruston v. Keddco Mfg.

 

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Wrongful dismissal update: Recent case is a cause for concern

frustrated-cause-for-dismissal

It is increasingly difficult for employment lawyers to assess an employer’s potential legal liability in connection with an employee termination.

 

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Simply complying with the ESA not enough to rebut common law presumption of entitlement to reasonable notice – ON Divisional Court

Is the sole requirement to rebut the common law presumption of termination only upon reasonable notice that the contractual termination clause comply with the ESA, or is something else required?

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds constructive dismissal – without pay suspensions must be justified

The first issue in Filice for the Court of Appeal was whether the without pay suspension constituted constructive dismissal. The Court first cited the two-branch test set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (2015).

 

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“Keep your hands clean”: Ontario Superior Court rules that an unfairly terminated fiduciary may owe a lesser degree of post-employment fiduciary duties

Recently, in the case of Palumbo v. Quercia 2018 ONSC 503, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the restrictions on soliciting clients of a corporation will not be as strict for an unfairly terminated fiduciary.

 

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Top 10 Ontario employment law stories of 2018

In 2018 there were many new developments in the employment law world. Here are my top 10 stories of
the year:

 

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“Cowboy” employer ordered to pay aggravated damages for bad faith termination

In a recent case titled Lalonde v. Sena Solid Waste Holdings Inc. 2017 ABQB 374, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench considered whether failing to hear an employee’s side of the story before dismissing him for cause could increase an employer’s liability.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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