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Wrongful dismissal update: Judge upholds just cause termination for a 30 year employee who touched a co-workers buttock

After a 10 day trial, an Ontario judge recently concluded that touching a female’s buttock in the presence of four witnesses, who had conflicting versions of what happened, was just cause for termination for an employee with 30 years’ service who had a clean disciplinary record.

 

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Full and final release upheld by the HRTO

For employers, one of the primary purposes of a full and final release is to prevent the former employee from pursuing legal action against the employer.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with workplace discrimination, payroll and safety blitzes in Ontario.

 

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Managing and addressing workplace developments caused by the spread of Coronavirus

Many employers are starting to ask questions about the legal framework within which they can prepare, manage and address developments and potential issues caused by the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

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The effect of signing a severance package

Question: Can employees get out of signed severance packages?

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with remote work options, wrongful dismissal and drug and alcohol testing.

 

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Fired because of race? Consider a human rights claim

In 2018, a group of eight Caucasian employees of the Spruce Hill Resort and Spa Ltd. (“the Resort”) in British Columbia made a complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (“the Tribunal”), in which they alleged that they had been terminated from their employment because they were not Chinese. The Tribunal found that seven of the employees had been discriminated against on the basis of race and colour, and one employee had been discriminated against on the basis of sex.

 

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Release of previous employer has no effect on termination by subsequent employer

In Manthadi v ASCO Manu (2019 ONSC 5572) Fowler Byrne J. had a situation where a 64 year old welder had over 36 years with Company A. Company A sold its business to the Defendant. Company A paid the plaintiff her 8 weeks under the ESA and she signed a release. The defendant immediately hired her on the closing date. She was terminated a few months later.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with revised WSIB policies, updated CRA tables, forms and guides, and workplace safety inspections.

 

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When worlds collide – The evolution of employment law principles in the termination of independent contractor relationships

To my mind, what Barresi demonstrates is that the line between employment law principles and “independent contractor” commercial law principles continues to blur. As the nature of what it means to be “employed” continues to evolve, so too must the law.

 

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Unfair Investigation? No Comment.

We are now in a world where workplace harassment is taken much more seriously than it was before. Although some jurisdictions in Canada do not have an explicit legal obligation to investigate incidents of this nature, there is now a pressing moral obligation to do so. But when such a moral obligation is unmoored from legal principles or government-issued guidelines, there is a greater risk of unfairness to all parties. An investigation in this context is more likely to be guided by an emotional drive to either undermine those who raise complaints or persecute those who are alleged to have behaved badly, rather than arriving at factual findings from a neutral perspective using a fair investigation process.

 

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When #TimesUp goes on trial: Key Takeaways from a judge’s decision following a sexual harassment investigation

Although stories of workplace sexual harassment were pervasive as we closed the last decade, it was uncommon to see any of these cases make it all the way to trial. Early (and confidential) settlements with the accused are the norm, and trials are rare.

 

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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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2019-2020 federal government departmental mandates of interest to employers

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has released the mandate letters for each of the 37 cabinet Ministers of his minority Liberal government.

 

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