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Most employees covered under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 are able to file a claim with the Ministry of Labour, if they think that their employer is not obeying the law; this is essentially just what one employee did after being terminated. As a result of the employee’s complaint, an Employment Standards Officer issued an Order to Pay which required their former employer to pay them termination pay and unpaid wages totaling $2,192.26. As a result, the employer decided to appeal the order. Although, the employer did not quite get the outcome it sought. While the Order to Pay was overturned, the one that was substituted by the Labour Relations Board still required the employer to pay its former employee termination pay.
An arbitrator issued very different decisions when it came to two Ontario arena operators who were seen leaving their shifts early on various occasions. One employee was reinstated (on condition) because the Arbitrator believed he was capable of rehabilitating his employer’s trust, while it was deemed that the other employee was not.
The Ontario Court of Appeal released two decisions addressing employee entitlement to damages in lieu of a bonus on termination. Generally speaking, the Court confirmed the principle that if a bonus forms an integral part of an employee’s total compensation package then, in a wrongful dismissal action, he or she is entitled to damages in lieu of the bonus unless there is enforceable bonus plan language that limits the employee’s entitlements. Where such language exists, it will be strictly construed.
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