Turning of the Tides? Record Setting Human Rights Damage Award Overturned in British Columbia

Time Published on October 20, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

Over the past few years, we have seen a number of cases in Canada where human rights tribunals have awarded record setting damage awards. In many of these cases, the damages have greatly exceeded what a Court would be prepared to award in a wrongful dismissal case. A recent judicial review decision out of British Columbia, University of British Columbia v. Kelly, has set aside one such damage award.


Dial “D” for Dismissal: Employee Fired after “Pocket-Dial”

Time Published on October 15, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

Most people have received (or sent) a “pocket-dial”, which is an unintentional cell phone call that is made by a phone when it is in a person’s pocket. In a recent decision from Alberta, an employee’s pocket-dial revealed that he was performing work for his own personal business on company time, leading to his dismissal for cause.

Tag employment law

New OLRB Rules Make Responding to Construction Industry Applications for Certification Even More Difficult

Time Published on September 17, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

A small change to the Ontario Labour Relations Board's response form may have a significant impact on employers' ability to respond accurately in an already brief response window.

Tag construction labour law,  labour law

Court Precludes Terminated Employee from Relying on Employer’s Apology

Time Published on September 17, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice demonstrates the little known "Apology Act" may apply in straightforward or perhaps interesting ways in employment law.

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  labour law

Court finds Abandonment for Failure to Return to Work or Provide Medical

Time Published on September 09, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

Disability management is a challenging issue for HR professionals. An employee with a disability may require an extended absence from work due to their medical condition. Where an employer provides disability benefits, the employee will be required to show that they meet the definition of disability under the insurance policy, which will require the disclosure of medical information. A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court addresses the issue of when an employee is considered to have abandoned their employment where they fail to comply with requests for medical information and also refuse to return to work.

Tag employment law

What Employers Need to Know about Opinions from Non-Doctor Health and Medical Professionals

Time Published on August 31, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

The recent admission of a large number of new health professions to those recognized in the Ontario Regulated Health Professions Act, which governs who can provide medical services in Ontario, raises fresh questions for employers as to what they should do with medical documentation from health care or medical practitioners who are not traditional doctors

Tag employment law

Ontario Superior Court takes “Trust” Approach to Mitigation at Summary Judgment

Time Published on August 06, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

Summary judgment has increasingly become a process used to litigate wrongful dismissal actions. It can be attractive as it allows the parties to avoid going through a more costly and time-consuming trial. However, the efficiency of this process raises other issues. Because parties can bring a summary judgment motion early on in the proceedings, a decision may be rendered prior to the expiry of the reasonable notice period at common law. This raises the question as to how to deal with the issue of mitigation.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal

Workplace Investigations – Will Yours Survive Tribunal Scrutiny?

Time Published on July 28, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

Workplace investigations have been an increasingly important topic for HR Professionals in the past few years.  Employers have a duty to conduct workplace investigations in response to employee discrimination and harassment complaints. Failure to investigate or faulty investigations can expose employers to liability.  Ensuring that workplace investigations are conducted properly is key to avoiding such liability.

Tag human rights

Supreme Court to Review Definition of “Unjust” Dismissals for Federal Employers

Time Published on July 23, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that it granted the employee in Wilson v Automic Energy Limited leave to appeal.  While a final decision is likely more than a year away, that decision has the potential to finally resolve one of the most vexing questions facing employers of non-unionized employees in the federal sector.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal

Workplace Policies Key in BC Court of Appeal Decision Upholding Just Cause Dismissal

Time Published on June 19, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

A recent decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal found just cause for dismissal of a long service employee existed for a single incident of misconduct.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal litigation

Double the Previous Record Awarded in Damages for Sexual Harassment

Time Published on June 15, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

A recent decision from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has doubled the previous Canadian record for general damages.

Tag human rights

Ontario Court Awards Dependent Contractors over Two Years of Notice

Time Published on June 10, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

A recent decision by the Superior Court of Justice underscores the heavy potential cost for an employer that attempts to retain workers as independent contractors – and finds itself on the wrong side of the line.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal

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

Time Published on May 22, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

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.

Tag employment law

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

Time Published on May 15, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

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".

Tag employment law,  employment standards,  wrongful dismissal

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

Time Published on May 14, 2015 User Stringer LLP Admin

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.

Tag employment law

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