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terms and conditions of employment

Revoking telecommute agreement a constructive dismissal

Employers should seek legal advice to ensure they are not altering essential terms and conditions of employment in attempts to improve performance. This is especially the case when dealing with long term employees who have never received negative feedback on performance or been subject to performance management.


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More bad news for fixed term contracts

A few months ago we commented on a case where a fixed term contract caused an employer significant liability because it did not allow for early termination prior to the end of the fixed term. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released a decision, Howard v. Benson Group Inc., which provides a further warning about the use of fixed term contracts.


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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: An article that looks at an agreement in principle that was reached for CPP expansion; a FAQ that addresses the validity of an employment contract that was not signed; and an article that looks at the construction union wage rate index for May 2016.


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Don’t make promises you can’t keep (even inadvertent ones) – a good lesson for all BC employers


The recent decision of the BC Supreme Court in Feldstein v. 364 Northern Development Corporation provides a cautionary tale for well-meaning employers seeking to provide compensation and benefits package details to candidates during the interview process.


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Agreement to sign an agreement

The issue of whether termination clauses contained within employment agreements will be enforceable is one that routinely arises. As I have discussed on many occasions, many employers weaken their legal position by entering into a verbal agreement, or presenting an “offer letter”, and then subsequently asking their new employee to sign a far more detailed employment agreement that is designed solely for the benefit of the employer.


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Arbitrator rules employer presentation not discriminatory or anti-union


In OPSEU (Brydges et al) and the Ministry of Transportation GSB 2012-1012, Arbitrator Dissanayake dismissed a grievance by a number of Ministry of Transportation employees. The employees alleged that an employer presentation asking them to be happy/content with their wages and benefits and comparing them to poor and starving people in developing countries was both discriminatory under the Ontario Human Rights Code and constituted anti-union discrimination which violated the collective agreement (particularly because of upcoming collective bargaining).


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Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three of the most popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with the recent federal budget legislation that passed third reading in the house of commons; how the use of prescribed marijuana by employees creates new questions for Canadian employers; and managing performance issues to avoid constructive dismissal claims.


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The dangers of drinking at work- how employers can avoid disaster

Most people would agree that it is not a good idea for an employee to drink or be impaired at work. The potential consequences of this kind of behaviour can be disastrous. This blog post addresses five issues related to drinking in the workplace.


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Deferred compensation: You can take it with you (sometimes)

Deferred compensation in the form of future bonuses, retention payments, and stock options has become a standard element of executive compensation. While there are countless variations of such plans, they are all designed to incent employees to remain with their employer, and to perform to the employee’s highest capability while he is there. In order to meet these goals, such plans will often include a deferral of the benefit once it is earned, in order to create an incentive to remain with the employer.


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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with the essential elements of an offer of employment letter; the changes regarding health and safety committees, representatives and training for federally regulated workplaces and changes to the online payroll deductions calculator for July 1, 2013.


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Employee’s unsuccessful action for constructive dismissal constitutes a resignation

The New Brunswick Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial decision that by commencing an action for constructive dismissal, an employee had elected to terminate his employment relationship. In Potter v New Brunswick (Legal Aid Services Commission), 2013 NBCA 27, the appellant, Potter, appealed his dismissal of an action for constructive dismissal. The Court of Appeal found no reversible error and dismissed the appeal.


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Learn the latest! — Specific termination provision upheld after sale of business

When a company purchases another business, it is important to consider the legal implications respecting the status of employees. The Ontario Superior Court recently decided a case regarding the validity of an employment contract where an employee had signed an agreement with his former employer but never executed a new agreement when the company was purchased by another business. The plaintiff argued that the employment contract only governed the previous employment relationship. The Court disagreed, finding that the terms of the employment contract still applied.


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Fairness for probationary employees?

The recent decision by an Ontario Small Claims Court (Cao v. SBLR LLP) , even though only at the small claims court level and unlikely to set any legal precedent, is nevertheless a reminder to employers and employees alike that we often tend to assume things about the law which are not true, only to be surprised by the facts when an aggrieved employee decides to challenge an employer’s action.


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‘Sexting’ becoming a problem in the workplace

What prompts a supervisor or worker to send a co-worker inappropriate text messages? In British Columbia, sexually charged messages in the workplace have led to trouble for employers. What do employers need to know so they can avoid being on the hook for sexual harassment?


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