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The enforceability of arbitration clauses in BC employment contracts

The BC Supreme Court recently considered the enforceability of arbitration clauses in employment contracts, as was addressed in Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al, 2019 ONCA 1 (“Uber”).

 

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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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When worlds collide – The evolution of employment law principles in the termination of independent contractor relationships

To my mind, what Barresi demonstrates is that the line between employment law principles and “independent contractor” commercial law principles continues to blur. As the nature of what it means to be “employed” continues to evolve, so too must the law.

 

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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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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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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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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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