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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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Informal work should still be governed by “formal” employment contracts

There is certainly no “one size fits all” model when it comes to a written employment contract. The agreement doesn’t need to be long or complicated… or “formal”, but it is perhaps naïve in today’s work environment, including in the “gig economy”, to believe that the good natured feelings present at the beginning of the work relationship will always be there, or that you’ll part ways with a temporary or short-term employee on good terms in every instance; or to believe that everyone is in agreement as to just how “independent” the employee is.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with vacation shaming, OHIP out-of-country coverage and workplace fatigue.

 

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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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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with 2020 payroll rates, compensation and disability accommodation, and a case of sexual harassment.

 

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The holiday party and workplace policies

The holiday season is fast approaching and organizations are planning their annual Christmas or holiday parties. The increased recognition that alcohol consumption at organization-sponsored events creates significant legal liability has had an impact on that traditional institution. And now, with the legalization of cannabis and the #metoo movement, added legal liabilities come into play.

 

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Stock rights are distinct from employment contract rights

It is the terms of an Equity Agreement, Shareholders’ Agreement or Stock Plan that determine employees’ rights with respect to shares. The common law relating to compensation for breaches of a contract of employment (i.e. reasonable notice) does not apply to shares where there is a distinct and separate agreement.

 

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Hiring seasonal workers for the holidays? 10 things employers need to know

As retailers and other seasonal employers gear up for the holiday rush, many hire additional temporary staff to ensure they are ready for crowds of shoppers and extended holiday hours.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with holiday parties and workplace policies, 2020 payroll rates and compensation planning for 2020.

 

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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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Dealing with employee misconceptions regarding LTD

Long-term disability (“LTD”) coverage is often a key benefit employees derive from their employment. LTD benefits can provide significant security to employees in the form of income continuation when they are disabled due to an illness or injury. Today we deal with some common misconceptions that employers may face when attempting to manage an employee’s absence due to disability.

 

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