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Wrongful dismissal update: Alleging just cause is a legal minefield

A recent case (Headley v. City of Toronto, 2019 ONSC 4496 (CanLII)) shows that alleging just cause for termination for a long-service employee can be a risky and costly strategy.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with employment contracts, 2020 payroll rates and illness in the workplace.

 

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Do all arbitration clauses in employment agreements violate the ESA?

In Rhinehart v Legend 3D Canada (2019 ONSC 3296) Justice Sanfilippo was faced with a motion by the defendants to stay the action as the employment contract had an arbitration clause that said as follows:

 

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Can an employee take back a resignation even if the employer accepted it?

Writing for the Ontario Court of Appeal in Kieran (2004), Justice Lang stated that, where an employee has resigned, he may resile from the resignation if the employer has not detrimentally relied upon it.

 

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You’ve wined them, you’ve dined them…and they’ve stood you up: What employers can do when jobseekers fail to commit

Although the interview process is generally quite stressful for employees, it’s no walk in the park for employers either. A lot of time, energy and resources go into courting a candidate. So, it’s fair to say that when a winner finally is selected and they’ve signed their shiny new employment contract, it hurts when they’re a no-show on their first day.

 

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Failure to repeat termination clause after multiple promotions voids clause

In McKercher v Stantec Architecture (2019 SKQB 100), Justice Elson had a situation where at the time of his hiring as a staff architect, the plaintiff signed an enforceable contract limiting his notice to a maximum of 3 months.

 

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Court of appeal says no backpedaling allowed on employee resignation

Is an employer allowed to “re-hire” a long term employee on new terms if they retract their resignation? According to the Ontario Court of Appeal the answer seems to be yes.

 

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Clauses to include in an employment contract

Employers in Ontario should require employees to sign an employment contract before starting work.

 

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Harassers, empty your pockets and pay up! Including personal financial accountability for harassment in employment contracts – key considerations

In January, Variety reported about the new position of John Lasseter, the former Pixar head of animation who was the subject of a workplace harassment complaints from Pixar staffers.

 

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The ONCA’s decision in the Uber case and the (il)legality of arbitration clauses in employment contracts

Will an arbitration clause in an independent contractor agreement always be found to be illegal, if, notwithstanding that to which the parties ostensibly agreed, the worker can later allege that he is, in fact, an “employee”?

 

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Time as an independent contractor can be considered in the calculation of severance

This case demonstrates that employers need to know that if they hire their independent contractors into a genuine “employee” position, that time they spent as an independent contractor may be calculated in establishing their right to severance.

 

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Court of Appeal partially invalidates release of notice entitlements

This blog focuses on the issues surrounding statutory minimums and waiving out, leaving the issue of restrictive covenants raised in the cross appeal for another day.

 

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Sentenced to probation: How employers can protect themselves when terminating the employment of recent hires

Employers who seek to impose more rigorous oversight of new employees and minimize termination obligations to those employees can rely on appropriately drafted probationary limitations in their offers.

 

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Not so fast: Court sets aside employer’s ex parte motion against ex-employee

The recent decision of Planet Paper Box Group Inc., v. McEwan, highlights some of the risks of utilizing an ex parte motion to enforce restrictive covenants against a departing employee.

 

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Employee induced to leave his employment and terminated six months later awarded six months’ pay

Greenlees v. Starline Windows Ltd. demonstrates the willingness of courts to award longer notice periods to short-term employees, particularly when the conduct of the employer induces the employee to leave his previous employment.

 

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