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.
Increasingly, Canadian courts have recognized an in-between class of agents that are not technically employees or not technically independent contractors. Over the past few years, our courts have come up with a hybrid category of agents called "dependent contractors." These are independent individuals who work so closely with employers, and whose relationship status with their "employer" is so sufficiently long-lasting, as to allow them entitlement for reasonable notice.