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News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

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Notice, Damages and Settlements

Termination clauses: (Yet) another one bites the dust

I advise employers and employees and therefore regularly draft and review termination clauses. The issue of whether a termination clause complies with the minimum notice requirements set out in the Employment Standards Act (the “ESA”) may be the most litigated issue in employment law over the past 5 years. So employment lawyers like me pay close attention to what the courts are saying on this issue.

 

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Top 10 most-read First Reference Talks blog posts for 2019

This year on the First Reference Talks blog, we’ve been covering some of the hot topics in employment and labour law and employee management. Making the list this year are blog posts on the topic of termination (again), on breaching confidentiality, privacy and the duty to accommodate among others.

 

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Denial of employee benefits to working seniors: a charter violation

On May 18, 2018, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario rendered its decision with respect to the issue of whether s. 25(2.1) of the Human Rights Code, when read alongside s. 44 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, permitted employers to terminate benefits for employees when they turned 65. In Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board, the Tribunal found that such a termination violated s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because it was a form of age discrimination.

 

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A wrongful dismissal time warp – When is two years really six?

Perhaps, when an ex-employee takes six years to “discover” that they were wrongfully dismissed.

 

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Work is work: Duration of dependent contractor status to be included in notice calculations

In the recent decision of Cormier v. St. Joseph Communications, the Court of Appeal upheld a motion judge’s finding that when calculating reasonable notice periods, an employee is entitled to include the duration of time they were an dependent contractor. This case highlights the risks posed by evolving employment relationships and the importance of drafting legally defensible termination clauses.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with contracting out of the Ontario ESA, entitlements to public holidays and discrimination against a job applicant.

 

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Top employment law cases of the 2010s

In order of appearance, from newest to oldest, here are the employment law cases that shaped Ontario and to some extent every jurisdiction in Canada in the 2010s:

 

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“Failsafe” language fails to save termination provision

If a contractual termination clause provides for “the greater of” ESA entitlements and a set amount, will the guarantee of “the greater of” act as a failsafe if the rest of the provision is contrary to the provisions of the ESA?

 

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Doug’s top 5 employment law stories of 2019

We have started the last month of 2019 and it is time for my annual top employment law stories of the year. 2019 has been a relatively good news year for Ontario employers.

 

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Exclusive or near-exclusive economic dependence determinative of dependent contractor status: Ontario Court of Appeal

Between employees and independent contractors exists a third, lesser known category of employment relationship: the dependent contractor. Unlike independent contractors, and subject to specific contractual termination provisions, dependent contractor relationships cannot generally be terminated without notice, or pay in lieu thereof.

 

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OCA denies $953,000 “commission” over notice period

In this case, as in other recent OCA cases, the Court is giving greater emphasis to the contractual language of the various bonus and commission plans as opposed to the principles of interpretation generally applied to employment contracts as set out in the seminal case of Wood v Fred Deeley.

 

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Is the termination clause in my employment agreement enforceable?

In this article, we consider some of the circumstances that can result in a termination clause being found unenforceable.

 

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Will saving provisions no longer save us?

Saving provisions are widely used in employment agreements to ensure that even if a decision-maker finds that some aspect of some clause is not enforceable due to the fact that it could possibly, maybe, one day, maybe, sorta violate the Employment Standards Act (ESA), the saving provision will communicate to that judge that this was not the employer’s intention to do so.

 

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Post-#MeToo: Confidentiality restrictions may go the way of the dodo

An NDA is a non-disclosure agreement. It is a restriction on a person’s ability to share, post or use certain information or documents. The subject matter of an NDA is usually set out in writing, but there are some implicit, common law restrictions on disclosing another individual’s or entity’s confidential or proprietary information and documents.

 

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Employee has right to change mind about resignation: ONCA

Can an employee change her mind about resignation, if the impetus for such voluntary resignation ceases to be an issue, and the employee has not yet left employment?

 

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