Updates

Employer Not Required to Bridge Terminated Employee to Retirement

Subject:Employment law - April 20, 2015

Counsel for terminated employees frequently plead as part of their claim that employees with long service should...


Superior Court Applies the “Johnstone Test” for Family Status Discrimination in Wrongful Dismissal Action

Subject:Human Rights - February 04, 2015

We have written before on the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Johnstone v Canada (Border Services) (see...


2014 in Review: Developments in Canadian Labour and Employment Law

Subject:Labour and Employment Law - January 14, 2015

In 2014 we saw some significant changes to Canadian labour and employment law.  New judicial decisions and...


The Clock is Ticking on AODA Compliance

Subject:AODA - December 08, 2014

Private sector employers must file an Accessibility Report by December 31, 2014 pertaining to compliance with the...


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....


More Updates

HR Blog

Court Strikes Down Termination Provision that Provides For Salary During Notice Period

May 22, 2015

Increasingly, the courts are striking down termination provisions in employment contracts resulting in lengthy common law notice awards to employees. A recent decision from the Ontario Divisional Court continued this concerning trend.

Court of Appeal upholds decision granting employee notice period based on employment with predecessors

May 15, 2015

Court of Appeal affirms that corporate reorganizations and transactions cannot defeat  employees' statutory entitlements on termination where there is a "sufficiently close relationship amongst the various companies".

Court of Appeal Finds Progressive Discipline Not Necessary in Just Cause Dismissal

May 14, 2015

Just cause is a difficult standard for employers to meet. In most cases, employees who are terminated from employment will be entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice. However, there are circumstances where the courts will find that dismissal for cause is warranted, as illustrated in a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Agostino v Gary Bean Securities Ltd.

Adjudicator Upholds Termination for Breach of Employer’s Technology Policy

May 07, 2015

A recent case involving a federal government worker serves as an illustration of some of the unique issues raised by employee misuse of technology.

The Supreme Court Weighs In on Suspensions and Constructive Dismissals

April 30, 2015

Employers are often surprised to learn of the risks of constructive dismissal when suspending non-unionized employees. In a recent decision, Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to decide whether an indefinite suspension with pay constituted a constructive dismissal.

Frank Portman to present at WSPS Conference & Trade Show: Understanding Bill 18: OHSA Protection for Young Workers and Unpaid Interns

April 15, 2015

Frank Portman to present at WSPS Conference & Trade Show: Understanding Bill 18: OHSA Protection for Young Workers and Unpaid Interns.

Shift-Shopping Endorsement Upheld by Alberta Court

March 31, 2015

The Alberta Court of Queen’s bench recently reviewed the arbitrator’s decision in SMS Equipment, a case on which we have written before (see our update on the decision here), and one of the first in the current wave of cases concerning the entitlement of employees to accommodation for child care obligations under human rights legislation.

Proposed Changes to the AODA Customer Service Standard

March 30, 2015

Last year, proposed changes to the Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”), were made available for public comment. A finalized version of these proposed changes has now been released. The purpose of many of the changes is to streamline the Customer Service Standard with the Integrated Accessibility Standard (which includes the Information and Communication Standard, the Employment Standard, the Transportation Standard and the Design of Public Spaces Standard).

Turning over a new leave: ESA amendments introduce new, significant categories of leaves

March 16, 2015

2014 saw the introduction of three new leaves protected under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”). These new leaves can result in significant absences from the workplace, which will create new human resources challenges for employers. Professionals engaged in workforce management and HR must be aware of these new obligations to employees in order to avoid accidental breaches of the ESA.

Early Bird Registration Now Open: 16th Annual Employment Law Conference

March 03, 2015

Early Bird registration now open for the 16th Annual Ontario Employment Law Conference in Mississauga.

Allison Taylor to present OBA webinar: Pregnant Employees: The Risks of Reproduction

February 20, 2015

Allison Taylor will present this insightful webinar through the Ontario Bar Association on March 12.

Federally Regulated Employees do not have Just Cause Protection

February 18, 2015

A recent decision of Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has provided clarity to a decades-long debate as to whether non-unionized, federally regulated employees can be terminated without cause.

Supreme Court Rules Right to Strike Protected by the Charter

January 30, 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the right to strike is protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Termination Clauses: A Cautionary Tale

January 21, 2015

In cases dealing with particularly senior and specialized employees, significant notice periods may be awarded even for employees with short service. this is starkly illustrated by a recent case from the Ontario Superior Court.

Divisional Court Clarifies Test for a Poisonous Work Environment

January 16, 2015

When employees allege harassment in human rights complaints, they often refer to the creation of a “poisoned work environment.” A recent decision from Ontario’s Divisional Court helpfully demonstrates that something more than one or two discrete incidents is usually required to support such a finding.

New Year’s Hangover: The Curious Case of the 27 Paycheque Year

January 07, 2015

2015 brings with it a payroll oddity that only arises once every 13 years: 27 bi-weekly payroll periods.

Divisional Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Certification in Evans v Bank of Nova Scotia

December 22, 2014

Ontario's Divisional Court has refused the Bank of Nova Scotia's application for leave to appeal the decision certifying a privacy class action to proceed.

Supreme Court Allows Employees to “Double-Up” on Pregnancy and Parental Benefits

December 08, 2014

The Supreme Court has ruled that birth mothers faced discrimination because they were forced to choose between benefits during parental leave and benefits for pregnancy leave.

Back to Basics: HRTO Follows Figliola and Refuses to Allow Relitigation of WSIB Claim

December 05, 2014

 A recent decision from the HRTO indicates that Figliola can still serve to protect the finality of a workers’ compensation tribunal decision

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.

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