Employer Failed to Trigger Employee’s Duty to Mitigate – Court of Appeal

Subject:Employment Law - October 30, 2014

The Court upheld a significant award of damages for constructive dismissal because the employer did not offer to...

Terra Firma No More: Supreme Court Changes the Ground Rules on Contracts

Subject:Employment Law - September 29, 2014

The recent Supreme Court decision in Sattva Capital Corp v Creston Moly Corp  signifies a major shift in the...

More Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Subject:Immigration; temporary foreign workers - September 19, 2014

The Temporary Foreign Worker program continues to be under fire in the media, and the Government has released some...

How to Avoid Employer Liability under Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Subject:Anti-Spam, Privacy - August 25, 2014

Canada's new anti-spam legislation (CASL) exposes new vulnerabilities for employers.

Going Global: Ontario Superior Court Grants Severance Pay Based on Non-Ontario Payroll

Subject:Employment Law, Employment Standards, Wrongful Dismissal - August 08, 2014

A recent French language decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice indicates that more employers could be...

Store Closing is not “Business as Usual”

Subject:Labour Relations, Collective Bargaining - July 03, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Walmart violated the statutory freeze in Québec's labour...

Privacy Class Action Certified against Employer

Subject:class actions, privacy - June 27, 2014

Heightened vigilance is the order of the day.  In the wake of a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court,...

Gloves Come Off: Sky High Damages in Human Rights Cases

Subject:Human Rights - June 05, 2014

Human Rights Tribunals across the country have been issuing damage awards which have raised the eyebrows of the...

Court of Appeal in Wal-Mart Case Scales Back Historic Punitive Damages Award

Subject:Wrongful Dismissal - May 26, 2014

Ontario's Court of Appeal has reduced the record $1Million punitive damages awarded at trial in Boucher v....

Stress Claim Tsunami? Tribunal Declares Stress Provisions of Workplace Safety and Insurance Act Unconstitutional

Subject:Workers' Compensation - May 13, 2014

In one of the most significant decisions in recent memory, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the...

What is a Reprisal under the Human Rights Code?

Subject:Human Rights - April 08, 2014

A recent case from Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal is a stark reminder of how important record keeping can be...

Ministry of Labour Potentially Liable for Negligent Safety Inspections

Subject:occupational health and safety - March 28, 2014

This recent decision in a claim arising from the tragedy at Elliot Lake should be noted by employers as it may have...

Is the Sky Falling? Family Status Discrimination and Shift Shopping

Subject:Human Rights - March 07, 2014

Recent decisions across several jurisdictions have made it clear that employers must be attentive to the emerging...

Bill 146 Proposes Crack Down on Temporary Agencies and Limits Freedom of Choice for Construction Workers

Subject:Employment Standards, Labour Law, Occupational Health and Safety, Workers' Compensation - December 06, 2013

The Ontario Government has proposed legislation which would dramatically alter the legal landscape with respect to...

Court suggests that Jail Terms May Become the "New Norm" for Roofing Accidents

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - December 02, 2013

A recent sentencing decision involving the owner of a small roofing company suggests that the Courts may be shedding...

Are we Trending Toward US-Scale Punitive Damages Awards?

Subject:Employment Litigation - November 29, 2013

The Canadian courts, especially appellate courts, have consistently taken a conservative, cautious approach to awards...

New Restrictions on the Temporary Foreign Workers Program - Jessica Young

Subject:Immigration - October 31, 2013

The Federal Government has announced new changes this year to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program that will make it...

Court of Appeal More Than Triples the Fine for Christmas Eve Swing Stage Collapse - Ryan Conlin

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - September 06, 2013

The Ontario Court of Appeal has sent a clear message that employers convicted of criminal negligence can expect to...

Upcoming AODA Obligations – Are you ready? - Jessica Young

Subject:AODA - July 30, 2013

The next phase of compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”)...

How NOT to Draft an Enforceable Non-Competition Agreement - Jeremy Schwartz

Subject:Restrictive Covenants, Employment Law - March 20, 2013

To be enforceable, non-competition agreements must, as a general rule, be reasonable and unambiguous in terms of...

More Updates

HR Blog

Restrictive Covenant a Factor in Lengthening Notice Period

November 27, 2014

A recent case out of British Columbia signals restrictive covenants may be a factor supporting extensions in common law notice periods for terminated employees.

British Columbia Court of Appeal puts a Price on Non-Competition Provisions

November 20, 2014

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently endorsed a functional approach to the interpretation of restraint of trade clauses. This approach opens up the potential for many more clauses to be subject to strict judicial scrutiny, and in turn findings of invalidity. This decision runs contrary to the current approach in Ontario and could signal a change in the approach of the Canadian judiciary to this critical question.

Annual Employers' Conference

November 14, 2014

Thanks to all who attended our Annual Employers' Conference yesterday.

Failure to mitigate reduces damages in Human Rights claim

November 07, 2014

In the wake of the Divisional Court’s decision in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board v Fair, human rights damages have been a hot topic. As you may recall, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awarded significant damages in that decision which included an award of back pay for a period of approximately 10 years. However, similar to wrongful dismissal litigation, applicants in human rights proceedings have a duty to mitigate their damages by showing that they have made reasonable efforts to seek out suitable alternative employment.

Outbreak? Ebola and Work Refusals by First Responders

October 31, 2014

Paramedics in Ontario and Québec have each challenged their respective employers' alleged failure to take reasonable precautions to protect them from exposure to ebola.  Somewhat surprisingly, the result was different in each province.

Class Action Employment Lawsuit Filed Against Canadian Hockey League

October 20, 2014

A freshly filed class action lawsuit combines two current trends in employment litigation: a crackdown on unpaid positions and enforcement by class action.

Internship Enforcement Update

October 08, 2014

 In the second quarter of 2014, the Ministry of Labour conducted an enforcement “blitz,” targeting companies in several sectors with intern programs to determine if those programs were being operated in a manner consistent with the Employment Standards Act. Out of 56 businesses in the GTA inspected during the blitz, 37 compliance orders were issued.

Tribunal fines Employers for Contraventions of the AODA

September 30, 2014

This summer, the License Appeal Tribunal, which has jurisdiction over the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (the “AODA”), released its first decisions pertaining to AODA compliance. Employers should be aware of their AODA obligations and upcoming deadlines to avoid noncompliance penalties.

If it Looks Like Theft and Quacks Like Theft…the Employer may Still pay

September 09, 2014

While employee theft is frequently grounds for termination, shades of grey do appear in the case law. In a recent case, the Ontario Superior Court enforced a settlement agreement in a wrongful dismissal action even though an employee had not told her employer of a loan she had taken from a social committee without permission.

Bank of Nova Scotia Overtime Class-Action Settles Out of Court

August 27, 2014

The recent settlement of this overtime class action lawsuit, and the complexity and scope of retroactive liability, highlights the folly in the head in the sand approach.

Strong Safety Program Protects Constructor Despite Subcontractor’s Guilty Plea

July 31, 2014

Constructors must have strong and meaningful safety programs in place to avoid Occupational Health and Safety violations and liability.

What’s cause got to do with it?

July 08, 2014

Employers: Feel reassured, outrageous misconduct is still cause for summary dismissal.

Supreme Court Finds Store Closure Violated the Statutory Freeze

June 27, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Walmart violated the statutory freeze in Québec's labour legislation when it closed a store following a successful organizing drive and failed negotiations.

Deal or No Deal?

June 26, 2014

A recent Human Rights Tribunal decision confirms the importance of securing agreement on all settlement terms.

When is an Owner an Employee?

June 24, 2014

When is an owner also an “employee”?  The Supreme Court of Canada recently rendered a decision on the question of whether a partner at a law firm could be an employee under human rights legislation.  The answer, perhaps not a surprise, is ‘it depends’…

What is the next step in AODA compliance?

May 26, 2014

The AODA Employment Standard deadlines are not as far away as they may seem.

Are Your Employment Contracts Enforceable?

May 26, 2014

A recent Ontario court decision has prompted many employers to revisit the language in their employment contract termination provisions. 

BC Labour Relations Board waters down Irving Pulp

May 26, 2014

A decision out of the British Columbia Labour Relations Board indicates that there may still be room in Canada for randum drug and alcohol testing.

Keeping the Offer on the Table Essential to Mitigation Defence

May 26, 2014

This recent appellate decision serves to remind employers that employees cannot mitigate by accepting an offer that is not technically still on the table.

Federal Court of Appeal Revises Test for Family Status Discrimination

May 20, 2014

The Federal Court of Appeal has produced a new, more balanced test for family status discrimination, drawn from caselaw around the country.

When can a resigning employee join a competitor?

April 28, 2014

A recent decision out of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms that employees cannot give, contractually agreed, notice of resignation only to unilaterally leave early to work for a competitor.

Workers can Simultaneously Receive WSIB LOE Benefits and ESA Termination Pay

April 24, 2014

WSIAT recently held that a worker's loss of earnings benefits under the workers' compensation plan may not be offset by statutory pay in lieu of notice.

When is a Whistleblower not a Whistleblower?

April 14, 2014

In a recent decision, the Ontario Labour Relations Board found that an employee did not suffer an unlawful reprisal when he was terminated for raising health and safety concerns – because of the manner in which he raised those concerns.

Can an employer be liable to an employee for previous service to a related employer?

April 11, 2014

In unionized industries and in particular the construction sector, there are well established rules governing when multiple companies can be considered a single employer under the law. Dozens of multiple employer applications per year are brought in Ontario alone. The same cannot be said about common employer determinations in the non-unionized sector. However, a recent case heard by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with such a situation

Court Sentences OHSA Violator to Jail due to past Environmental Offences

March 25, 2014

This case is one of the first reported examples of an individual receiving a harsher OHSA sentence as a result of convictions under a different statute.  

Jurisdictional disputes in employment contracts

March 06, 2014

In this electronic age, many employers will make offers of employment via email. When the offer is being made to an individual in another province or country, an issue may arise as to what jurisdiction will govern when a dispute arises.

When Can an Employer Rely on a Limitation Period when Unilaterally Changing a Contract?

February 28, 2014

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in Ali v O-Two Medical, which highlights the risks of taking a wait-and-see approach when giving notice of significant changes to employment terms and conditions.

Are Statements by Inspectors About Whether Charges are Going to be Laid Binding on the MOL?

February 26, 2014

One of the questions that have vexed employers over the years is how to respond to “off-hand” comments made by Ministry of Labour Inspectors in the course of investigations.  Employers often wonder whether comments made by Inspectors about whether charges will be laid have any legal consequence.

What Information Must (or Can) an Employer Disclose to a Union?

February 24, 2014

After nearly a decade-long legal battle, the Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that employers are not prohibited by privacy legislation from providing employee personal contact information to their union representatives.  The saga of this case carries lessons for employers with unionized and non-union employees alike.

British Columbia Court of Appeal Overturns Lower Court Decision on Profit Sharing Plan

February 14, 2014

Employers that decide to implement a profit sharing plan for employees should make sure that the terms of the plan are clearly spelled out. More often than not a dismissed employee will demand payment of this additional compensation upon termination of employment. Ultimately the employee’s entitlement will depend on the wording of the plan.

Personal Liability in Wrongful Dismissal Actions

January 31, 2014

A recent decision of the Divisional Court raises the issue of when an individual can be found personally liable in a wrongful dismissal claim. This will be particularly pertinent for small business owners where confusion may arise as to whether the employer is a corporation or an individual.

Court of Appeal says that Compliance with an Inspector’s Order Should Not Mean a Smaller Fine

January 24, 2014

The Ontario Court of Appeal, in Ontario (Labour) v. Flex-N-Gate Canada Company, has overturned a lower Court finding found that an employer should be “rewarded” with a lower fine if it complied with an Order from a Ministry of Labour Inspector to make safety improvements after an accident.

Ontario Imposes Mandatory OH&S Training for Workers and Supervisors

January 22, 2014

A new Regulation under the OHSA will explicitly require that workers and supervisors receive basic occupational health and safety training as of July 1, 2014.

OLRB opens the door to harassment reprisal complaints under the OHSA

January 08, 2014

The Ontario Labour Relations Board recently made an important decision which may represent a significant shift in how it approaches allegations that employers have engaged in reprisals against workers who have filed harassment complaints.

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