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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with reasonable notice of termination and the definition of salary or wages under the Income Tax Act.

 

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Managing risk in not-for-cause employee terminations

My Human Resources college professors used to ask students on a regular basis when it was OK for employers to terminate employees without cause. The answer, in theory, is that the employer can terminate an employee at any time! However…

 

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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with an employer’s miscalculation of the employee’s notice period; how an Alberta employer paid the price for failing to accommodate an employee’s disabilities; and Ontario’s new mandatory occupational health and safety training.

 

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Working notice: A refresher

Most of the time when employers look to terminate an employee they opt for pay in lieu of notice. Yet pay in lieu of notice can be costly, it can discourage mitigation and it may hurt productivity (if a suitable replacement has yet to be found). An often overlooked approach is providing working notice that satisfies both statutory and common law obligations.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the court calling into question the termination without notice of a probationary employee, how the law around references is changing and how a mistake in a contract led to constructive 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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When will an employer be liable for bad faith damages?

Since the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Honda v. Keays, dismissed employees have increasingly sought bad faith damages in severance negotiations and wrongful dismissal actions. A key issue in these claims is whether the employer’s conduct was sufficiently egregious to justify these damages. The courts are clear that not every perceived offence or instance of misconduct will give rise to a finding of bad faith.

 

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Employers ask: what conduct by an employee constitutes cause for dismissal

frustrated-cause-for-dismissal

I am frequently asked by employer clients to describe what type of conduct by an employee will be held by the courts to qualify as cause for dismissal. Employers are often frustrated by the answer they receive – that it seems that nothing less than stealing money from the company will suffice. In the case of long time employees without prior instances of misconduct, theft may still be insufficient. A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court has fortunately clarified the circumstances in which courts will find cause for dismissal as a result of dishonesty. What is striking about the decision is the reliance of the judge on a seemingly insignificant act committed by a nineteen year employee.

 

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Slaw: Employee constructively dismissed, but no damages awarded because of failure to mitigate

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice just decided that although an employee was constructively dismissed when he was suddenly “laid off,” the employer did not owe the employee any damages because he failed to mitigate his loss.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

Employer properly withheld documents in access to information request Alberta’s privacy commissioner confirmed that an employer properly withheld certain information from an employee because the personal information of a… Ontario Court of Appeal upholds nearly $200,000 in damages for loss of disability benefits during common law notice period Reasonable notice under the common law requires […]

 

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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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Most-viewed articles this month on HRinfodesk

Beware of terminating long-term employees without proper notice The Ontario Superior Court of Justice decided that an employer terminated a 65-year-old long-term employee without the proper amount of notice or severance. As a result, the employer had to pay hefty damages, interest and costs awards. Entitlement to paid sick leave and termination pay denied The […]

 

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What you should know about the Ontario Employment Standards Act

Most employers in Ontario are aware that the Employment Standards Act imposes standards on employers with respect to the treatment of employees. However, many are not aware that they are required to display a poster issued by the Ministry of Labour titled, “What You Should Know about the Employment Standards Act.” This poster, which can be downloaded from the ministry’s website, advises employees of their rights with respect to employment standards of hours of work, wages, public holidays and more…

 

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What’s wrong with this picture? Settlement excludes amount of vacation pay owing

In Ontario, employers owe vacation pay on employee wages. Wages are defined in section 1 of the Employment Standards Act to include “any payment required to be made by an employer to an employee.” Here is where it gets tricky. In Ontario, the employment standards may require two separate types of payments to an employee who is terminated without cause.

 

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Why it is never a good idea to dismiss an employee by email

A human resource person in one of the largest insurance company in the UK mistakenly fired 1,300 global employees in its investment unit by email. The email asked them to turn over their security credentials and company property on their way out and to remember their contractual obligation pertaining to confidential information. Oops! The email was only meant to go to one employee.

 

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