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Author Archive - Rudner Law, Employment / HR Law & Mediation

Rudner Law is a firm specializing in Canadian Employment Law. They provide clients with strategic advice regarding all aspects of the employment relationship, negotiate and advocate on their behalf and represent them before courts, mediators and tribunals. Blog posts are written by Stuart Rudner, the principal and founder of Rudner Law, Brittany Taylor, a Senior Associate at Rudner Law, Nadia Zaman, an Associate at Rudner Law and Anique Dublin, a Law Clerk at Rudner Law. Read more

COVID-19 pandemic: Fact sheet for employers and employees

In this post, we try to address some of the main questions and concerns you may have as an employer or employee in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that you will find this general information useful, but want to stress the importance of obtaining independent legal advice with respect to your individual circumstances.

 

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No obligation to accommodate employee’s “preference” to work closer to home

A recent arbitration decision is helpful for employers dealing with accommodation requests, particularly with respect to a request to be transferred to a different location.

 

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Full and final: Human rights application successfully barred by signed release

In recent years, one of the recurring circumstances where the efficacy of a signed release has been debated is where a former employee files an application with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

 

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So what exactly is a “dependent contractor”?

I have often commented on the widespread misclassification of workers and, more specifically, the common practice of treating a worker as an Independent Contractor when they are really an employee in all but name.

 

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Flexibility does not create new terms of employment

Earlier this year, the Ontario Divisional Court upheld a decision which confirmed that an employer’s occasional flexibility with regard to an employee’s hours of work did not displace the employer’s right to enforce the agreed upon hours at a later time.

 

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Racialized, foreign-trained lawyer discriminated against during interview

It is no surprise that racism and ageism still exist in the legal profession. An Ontario Human Rights Tribunal decision released earlier this year is a perfect example and warns employers to be careful during the hiring process.

 

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Can accommodation include a reduction in pay?

One issue that arises occasionally when an employee is being accommodated is whether the employer can adjust their compensation to bring it in line with their new reduced hours and/or duties.

 

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“Desire to Work” is not enough: Appellate court upholds dismissal for frustration of contract

The decision in this case makes it clear that it is not enough for an employee with a disability to merely inform his or her employer of a desire to return to work. The employer’s duty to accommodate will only be triggered when the employee provides the employer with evidence of his or her ability to return to work, including any disability-related needs or restrictions.

 

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Reinstatement is a potential remedy, but not in this case

While monetary damages are the usual result of legal actions, we all know that in some contexts, reinstatement is a potential remedy. It can occur in grievance arbitrations, human rights claims, and other circumstances.

 

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Ontario Court of Appeal confirms 24 month cap on notice periods absent exceptional circumstances

For as long as I have been practicing, we have referred to a “24 month cap” of notice when it comes to reasonable notice of dismissal pursuant to common law.

 

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When sharing is not caring: The high cost of breaching confidentiality

Only a very small percentage of disputes proceed all the way to a hearing or trial. The vast majority settle at some point, for reasons that are fairly well known. One of the key reasons in many cases is confidentiality; often, the parties want to avoid a public hearing and a published judgment that sets out all of the intimate details of the case, as well as the findings of the judge with respect to fault and blameworthiness.

 

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How a bad hire could lead to damages for constructive dismissal

In the wake of the #metoo movement, one question that has arisen, and which our firm has commented upon is how employers are to react when those individuals attempt to return to the workforce.

 

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Duty to accommodate may be triggered even when employee does not request accommodation

As we all know, employers are required to accommodate individuals to the point of “undue hardship” where the need for accommodation relates to a ground protected by human rights legislation, such as disability.

 

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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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Is 36 months the new 24?

For a long time, the common law notice period had an “unofficial” cap of 24 months, which was generally reserved for very long-service, senior level management. In recent years, things have changed and longer notice periods are becoming the norm.

 

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