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Ontario Court of Appeal

Update on probationary clauses from Ontario Court of Appeal

Recently, the Ontario Court of Appeal affirmed that the probationary clause, which provided, simply, “Probation…six months”, was enforceable, and that the employee was not entitled to anything more than the one week of pay in lieu of notice of dismissal pursuant to the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”).


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$85,000.00 human rights award against employer in sexual harassment case upheld on appeal

In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case serves as an example of how serious our Canadian Courts are now treating sexual harassment in the workplace.


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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds decision to reinstate disabled employee with 10 years back pay: Will human rights litigation ever be the same again?

I predict a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision will have a significant impact on human rights litigation. In particular, I suspect disabled employees will start asking employers to find or create alternative positions for them if they cannot perform their job duties because of a disability, and terminated employees will start asking adjudicators to reinstate them with full back pay.


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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: The federal government’s consultation launch on the Canada Labour Code to provide federally regulated workers more flexibility in their work hours; a matter where the Ontario Court of Appeal deemed that an employer’s financial circumstances is no excuse for unreasonable notice; and a matter that deals with the Ontario Labour Relations Board’s jurisdiction over medical marijuana.


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Ontario Court of Appeal puts the ‘reasonable’ back into ‘reasonable notice’

Determining the actual notice period an employee is entitled to upon termination is often a frustrating exercise for employers. This is especially true of the more recent case-law which has tended to place more emphasis on certain factors (age and tenure) at the expense of other factors (nature of position and compensation). There have been widely divergent awards in recent years. This undermines the ability of employers to plan, with some certainty, for large scale restructurings and the required notice/severance to provide staff.


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Personal liability in wrongful dismissal actions

A recent decision of the Divisional Court raises the issue of when an individual can be found personally liable in a wrongful dismissal claim. This will be particularly pertinent for small business owners where confusion may arise as to whether the employer is a corporation or an individual.


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The misconceptions of suspensions in non-unionized workplaces

Perhaps because of the increased press directed to union conflicts, or perhaps due solely to a misunderstanding of the employment relationship, many HR professionals perceive that they have the right to suspend an employee based on some perceived or actual misconduct by that employee. However, while most union contracts do provide the right of suspension to the employer, there is no similar right available at common law.


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Court of Appeal protects manager from personal liability on employee termination

A well-drafted contract protects not only the company but also its employees and senior personnel. In a recent decision,…


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Refreshing statement on employers’ OHS due diligence obligations

As an Ontario employer, it is sometimes hard to shake the impression the standard of OH&S due diligence applied by the courts is so high that defendants are guilty until proven innocent. Our court of appeal has found employers to be “the virtual insurers” of employee health and safety.


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Slaw: Employee terminated for theft still entitled to bonus

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently confirmed that when an employee was terminated for stealing from his employer, he was still entitled to his annual bonus because it was clearly an integral part of his contract, even if he had breached his fiduciary duty.


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Motions for judgment in wrongful dismissal − the Court of Appeal’s latest statement

One of the difficulties faced by plaintiffs’ counsel in wrongful dismissal litigation is the length of time it can require to get a case to trial and obtain monetary compensation for the dismissed employee. Obviously, a plaintiff without a job is sensitive to the costs and delay which may result. This issue can often be addresses by way of a Motion for Summary Judgment.


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Ontario Court of Appeal deals with stock grants and termination

Long gone are the days when employees would receive pay cheques at the end of the week and possibly a Christmas bonus each year. Compensation for employees, particularly senior employees, has become increasingly complex as employers seek to incent specific behaviours among their executives. In addition, changing tax laws and the wild gyrations of the stock markets have made stock options more difficult to administer and less appealing to employees.


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Don’t push the employees – Court of Appeal deals with damages in a wrongful dismissal claim

The scope of damages available in wrongful dismissal claims has been steadily widening over the past decade. However, in a decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, released on May 28, 2010, the Court reversed this trend by rejecting tort liability of an employer for intentional infliction of mental suffering arising from a dismissal.


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Court of Appeal rules on evidence of failure to mitigate

Advancing a defence of failure to mitigate in a wrongful dismissal claim requires evidence that…


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