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pay in lieu of notice

Proving cause remains an up-hill battle

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, confirming a trial decision, once again demonstrates the difficulty employers will face in satisfying courts in this province that there was cause for dismissal.

 

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Misconceptions of a probationary period can expose employer to liability

Most people assume that they know what a probationary period is and how it works in Canada. Unfortunately, however, there are many misconceptions with respect to the law in this regard, and many employers unknowingly expose themselves to significant liability when they hire new employees.

 

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Even in the absence of a release, employee who accepted a termination package not entitled to additional damages

If an employee negotiates a termination package with an employer but does not sign a release, can they successfully claim additional pay in lieu of notice in a court action? Interestingly, the Ontario Superior Court recently held that the answer for one employee in these circumstances was “no”.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with extended health care plan payments, the review of existing employment contracts and the possible taxable benefit of employer-provided cars.

 

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How do you count length of service/seniority in relation to employee leaves of absence?

There is significant confusion regarding how periods of leave are to be treated when entitlements are based upon length of service; this included the amount of notice of dismissal that may be required…

 

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Long service employee awarded reasonable notice beyond 24 months

There is an implied term of the employment contract that when an employee is terminated without cause, they will be provided reasonable notice of termination. (Of course, an employer can avoid the reasonable notice requirement by including an express provision regarding termination in the employment contract.)

 

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Failure to continue disability coverage during the notice period

Last year, I reminded employers of the danger of failing to continue disability benefits after dismissing an employee and providing pay in lieu of notice. An important case has now passed through the Ontario Court of Appeal…

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

Our federal government’s recent introduction of proposed reforms to the employment insurance system has prompted the expected furor from both sides of the debate…

 

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Working notice: destined to fail?

I always advise clients to consider their options when they must dismiss an individual (assuming it is without cause). Rather than automatically offering a package, and paying the employee not to work, I encourage our clients to consider whether a period of working notice could be viable. By doing so, at least they would get some value for their money. However, I often think back to a comment made by Mr. Justice Donnelly of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, who, in the course of considering a wrongful dismissal claim, opined that “[w]orking notice is an institution almost invariably predestined to fail.”

 

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Dealing with stock options on dismissal

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision dealt with a number of issues arising from the dismissal without cause or notice of a senior vice-president of an investment company. One of the more difficult issues addressed at trial, and considered by the Court of Appeal, was the trigger date for the right of the employer to re-purchase the employee’s two percent interest in the company.

 

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