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wrongful dismissal claim

Court finds that employer telling employee to “get out” constitutes dismissal

Termination of an employment relationship can come in many forms; some apparent and some not so. In the latter case, it often falls to a court to determine whether an employer’s actions constitute dismissal or constructive dismissal. This was the issue faced by Justice Lack in the recent decision of Sweeting v Mok.

 

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Employee v. contractor

The distinction between employees and contractors is an issue that will not go away. As I have written about in the past, there seems to be a trend toward giving workers the option of being treated as an employee or a contractor, though the reality is that this impacts nothing other than how they are paid.

 

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WSIB claims for mental distress

For years, those of us that practice in the area of Employment Law have taken it as a given: if you suffer from mental distress caused by circumstances in the workplace, you cannot bring a WSIB claim except in very limited circumstances. Unlike physical injuries, WSIB would not cover psychological or emotional damage, even if it could be shown to be a workplace injury. That has now been called into question, as a Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal found that the statutory provision limiting the entitlement to benefits for mental distress is inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and, therefore, unconstitutional.

 

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Not all releases are created equal

A recent case from Ontario is cautioning employers to think twice before relying on a release from an employee to shield them from a future wrongful dismissal claim.

 

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A quick primer on just cause termination

wheelchair

Every month I have the benefit of drafting a quick blog on great employment law topics. A case that I very recently read, which is probably the best employment case I have ever read, catalyzed my interest in drafting a quick primer on the law of just cause. In the case of Barton v. Rona Ontario Inc. (2012 ONSC 3809) the plaintiff Kerry Barton was an assistant store manager at Rona in Barrie. He managed approximately 140 employees. One of the employees was wheelchair bound…

 

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Can an employer argue cause when discovered after dismissal?

An employer decides to dismiss an employee without notice and without legal cause. Subsequent to the dismissal, in reviewing the employee’s work, the employer discovers a number of errors which, if known at the time, would have been sufficient to support a dismissal for cause. Can the employer successfully argue cause in defence of a wrongful dismissal claim? This is a question I have been asked many times by employers, as a review of a dismissed employee’s work after dismissal often reveals significant errors or, in some cases, outright dishonesty.

 

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A stunning example of mistreatment of migrant workers

This case is a stunning example of mistreatment of migrant workers: a live-in nanny recently launched a wrongful dismissal claim against her employer in the Ontario Superior Court seeking damages in the amount of $195,000 for breach of contract, unpaid wages, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay.

 

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Failure to use employment agreements properly

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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Employers’ strategic use of employees’ duty to mitigate

Mitigation of damages in the context of a wrongful dismissal claim is one of those concepts that is often referred to but not well understood.

 

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Update on damages arising out of bad faith in the course of dismissal: Soost vs. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.

The Court of Appeal in Alberta has just ruled that there was no basis to award “The Damages Formerly Known as Wallace” in Soost v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., dramatically reducing the value of the award.

 

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Litigating just cause cases

Making the decision to dismiss an employee for just cause and litigating a wrongful dismissal claim on the basis of summary dismissal are two different things…

 

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Arbitrator rules against GTAA in favour of employee

“Employees are not like tissues to be used up and then thrown out at a whim into a bin of low-level employment or unemployment.” The arbitrator in a recent case concluded that the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s conduct in terminating a disabled employee was a violation of its collective agreement…

 

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