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Notice, Damages and Settlements

COVID-19: What a difference a month makes

In over 30 years I have never seen one topic dominate my employment law practice like COVID-19 has over the last three weeks. Some Ontario businesses have gone from working at 100% capacity to 0% because the Ontario government has declared these businesses as non-essential and working remotely is not possible.

 

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Legal issues in the post corona era

Right now employment lawyers are talking, debating and especially ZOOMING about various employment issues that have arisen since this pandemic started.

 

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The Canada Labour Code & employer releases

Many arbitration decisions have held that it is illegal for the employer to require the employee to sign a release waiving their rights under the Canada Labour Code as a term of a settlement offered at the time of termination.

 

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Wallace Damages has two components

Lawyers often seem to forget this important aspect of Wallace Damages as they tend to focus on the mental distress element of the case. This case shows that it may be much more profitable to focus how the manner of the dismissal adversely affected the plaintiff’s employability.

 

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Constructive dismissal update: Employee claiming damages for workplace harassment barred from commencing court action

If this case is upheld on appeal, this decision suggests that if an employee quits because of workplace harassment, then the employee will not be able to bring a constructive dismissal in the courts in some cases.

 

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A beginner’s guide to without cause terminations

If an employer terminates an employee without cause, it means they don’t have to provide a reason, but they do have to provide “notice”.

 

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Devil’s in the detail or employment contracts redux*: The twelve most common avoidable drafting errors

Employment contracts should be reviewed and revised on a periodic basis. Courts have routinely found that a contract will not be upheld or enforced unless it reflects the reality of the employment relationship.

 

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Doing zilch re mitigation reduces notice period from 14 to 12 months

In Seykors v Rural Municipality of Lake Lenore (2019 SKQB 225) Richmond J. reduced the notice period by 2 months where the Plaintiff’s mitigation efforts were minimal and he had not applied for even one job.

 

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Negligent misrepresentation claims against employers: A matter for labour arbitrators or civil courts?

Does a unionized employee’s claim of negligent misrepresentation against an employer fall outside of the jurisdiction of a labour arbitrator and within the jurisdiction of the civil courts?

 

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When can LTD benefits frustrate an employment contract?

The decision of Roskaft v. RONA Inc., 2018 ONSC 2934, sheds some light on when an employer can successfully claim frustration of contract when an employee is in receipt of long-term disability benefits.

 

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Non-consensual sharing of intimate images grounds for summary dismissal

Can sharing intimate photos of one your coworkers with your friends result in the summary dismissal of your employment for cause?

 

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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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The effect of signing a severance package

Question: Can employees get out of signed severance packages?

 

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