It is not uncommon in smaller family run or closely held businesses to have a situation where a key employee is also a significant shareholder in the business. However, this can create significant issues if the relationship with the employee changes, particularly if the relationship deteriorates. This is because such employees are subject not only to employment laws, but also can take advantage of shareholder protections.
Dealing with disabled employees can be a vexing issue for most employers. A number of questions arise when an employee takes time off either temporarily or permanently due to a disability, whether physical or mental. These issues include:
A topic that I address often in presentations and with clients is the failure, on the part of the vast majority of employers in Canada, to use employment agreements properly (if at all). As I have said many times, policies and agreements are the easiest ways for employers to establish the rights and obligations of the parties and avoid having them imposed by common law or other principles.
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