Proposed Amendments to the OHSA put Corporate Officers and Directors on Notice and May Imperil Charter Protections for all Defendants

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - March 07, 2022

The Ontario government has introduced the Working for Workers Act, 2022, which contains significant proposed changes...

WSIB Announces Significant Rebate for Most Ontario Employers

Subject:Workers' Compensation - February 17, 2022

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has announced that eligible Schedule 1 employers will receive a significant...

Ontario Passes the Working for Workers Act, 2021

Subject:Employment Standards, Occupational Health and Safety - December 02, 2021

New rules affecting employment relationships in unprecedented and varying ways have been made as a result of the...

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies: Context is Everything

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - November 19, 2021

The legal authority of employers to demand their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 has been hotly debated. The...

Teacher Found Not Guilty for Student Drowning: What Does This Say About the Burden of Proof in OHS Criminal Cases?

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - October 28, 2021

A recent criminal negligence case shows that a court will hold the Crown to a very high standard to prove criminal...

Divisional Court Quashes WSIAT Stress Decision and Allows Constructive Dismissal Case to Proceed

Subject:Workers Compensation, Employment Law, Civil Litigation - September 17, 2021

In a rare decision, Ontario's Divisional Court quashed a ruling by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals...

Immigration status by any other name?

Subject:Corporate Immigration - July 13, 2021

The Divisional Court has overturned a controversial Human Rights Tribunal decision on discrimination when hiring...

Does a COVID Leave Trigger Constructive Dismissal? Third Case Further Muddies the Waters

Subject:COVID - July 06, 2021

Third case in as many months has come to inconsistent findings on whether an employee, deemed to be on Infectious...

Does a COVID Leave Trigger Constructive Dismissal? Even Courts are Coming to Opposite Conclusions

Subject:Employment Law, COVID-19 - June 10, 2021

Does a COVID Leave Trigger Constructive Dismissal? Two Ontario courts have come to opposite conclusions.

The Only Good News here is for Lawyers – COVID Leave Triggers Constructive Dismissal

Subject:Employment Law, COVID-19 - May 11, 2021

In an unfortunate decision for Ontario's employers, the Ontario Superior Court has ruled that an employer that...

Ontario has Introduced Three Days of Employer-Paid (WSIB-Reimbursed) COVID Paid Sick Leave

Subject:COVID-19 - May 05, 2021

Ontario employers must now provide employees with up to three paid sick days if they miss work due to COVID-19.

Extraordinary circumstances call for Extraordinary Remedies

Subject:Tort Law - March 09, 2021

In this article, we discuss the Caplan decision, the details of the new tort of harassment in online communications...

Employers Face Possible Expansion of the Duty of Honesty and Good Faith

Subject:Employment Law - January 13, 2021

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Canada could be applied to expand the duty of honesty and good faith...

Beginning of the End? COVID-19 Vaccines and Employers' Rights

Subject:Mandatory Vaccination Policies - January 07, 2021

In this article, we identify the risks associated with imposing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy and the...

Constructively Dismissed Employee Entitled to Bonus Despite Plan Language?

Subject:Employment law - November 03, 2020

The Supreme Court of Canada recently confirmed that employers restrict employees' entitlement to bonuses payable...

What Does the OLRB Teachers Pandemic Decision Mean for OHSA Appeals?

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - October 27, 2020

In one of the most significant OH&S decisions issued during the COVID-19 epidemic, the Ontario Labour Relations...

CERB is over – Now What?

Subject:Employment law - October 20, 2020

On October 2, 2020, Federal Bill C-4, An Act relating to certain measures in response to COVID-19, received royal...

OHSA Court Reform: Permanent Changes to how Provincial Offences Trials are Conducted

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - October 09, 2020

Recent amendments now permit court filings, trials and other court proceedings to proceed by electronic means in...

Ontario ESA Flash Update - Extension to Deeming Provisions Concerning Layoffs

Subject:Employment Standards - September 04, 2020

The Ontario Government announced yesterday that the deeming effects of an employment standards regulation are...

Moving Forward: Coronavirus and the New Normal

Subject:COVID-19, Employment Law, Occupational Health and Safety Law - July 22, 2020

Most of Ontario’s public health units are now well into Stage 3 of the Framework for Reopening our Province,...

Once a Construction Employee, Not Always a Construction Employee? Ontario Court Finds Yet Another Way to Invalidate a Termination Clause

Subject:employment law, construction employees, termination pay - July 20, 2020

A recent and troubling decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice illustrates that the courts are applying...

New COVID-19 Regulation Gives Temporary Relief from Constructive Dismissal Under the ESA

Subject:Employment Standards Act, Constructive Dismissal, COVID-19 - June 01, 2020

The Ontario government introduced a new regulation on May 29, 2020 under the Employment Standards Act, 2000...

The Road Back: Safety and Employment Law Considerations for Re-Opening the Workplace

Subject:COVID Update - May 22, 2020

Ontario is set to re-open in stages commencing in June.  Now is the time for employers to consider what that...

Ontario Government Expands List of Non-Essential Workplaces

Subject:COVID-19, Essential Services, Construction - April 04, 2020

Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that the government is updating its emergency order to expand the...

Details Released on Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy Program

Subject:COVID-19, Wage Subsidy, Human Resources Law - April 02, 2020

Many Canadian business owners have been awaiting an update on the terms and conditions of the wage subsidy program...

Ontario Increases Safety Measures to Curb the Spread of COVID-19 on Construction Sites

Subject:COVID-19, Construction, Occupational Health and Safety - March 30, 2020

In what appears to be a response to considerable confusion in the construction industry, Ontario’s Chief...

The WSIB Response to COVID-19

Subject:Workers' Compensation - March 27, 2020

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board has now issued public guidance about how the workers compensation system...

Ontario Releases List of Essential Services

Subject:COVID-19, Declared Emergency, Pandemic, Essential Services - March 24, 2020

In an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, the provincial government has ordered the closure of all...

Can Essential Service Workers Refuse to Work in Ontario?

Subject:COVID Update. OHS - March 23, 2020

Work refusal rules are quite different with respect to designated exempt employees under health and safety...

Ontario Legislature Passes Bill 186 - Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 - Job Protection for Workers due to COVID-19

Subject:Job Protection, COVID-19, Legislative Amendments - March 19, 2020

The Ontario Legislature has passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 in...

Premier Doug Ford has Declared a State of Emergency in Ontario

Subject:COVID-19, Declared Emergency, Pandemic - March 17, 2020

Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency in Ontario as of early morning on March 17, 2020. This...

Ontario Announces Proposed Job Protection for Workers during COVID-19 Pandemic

Subject:Legislative Updates, COVID-19, Job Protection - March 16, 2020

Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s office announced this morning that it has directed the Minister of Labour, Training...

Pandemic Planning: Is your Workplace Ready?

Subject:Pandemic Planning: Is your Workplace Ready? - March 12, 2020

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.  Not since H1N1 and SARS before that,...

Unionizing Foodora - Strident Labour Laws into the Gig Economy?

Subject:Labour Law - February 26, 2020

Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the couriers at mobile food ordering app, Foodora, have won an important first...

“Creative Sentencing” for Corporations Convicted of OH&S Offences Arrives in Ontario

Subject:OHSA, Occupational Health and Safety, Sentencing, Constitutional Law - February 10, 2020

An Ontario Court may have altered the legal landscape with respect to sentencing corporations convicted of offences...

Carte Blanche for Crown Prosecutors in “Complex Cases”?

Subject:OHSA, Occupational Health and Safety, Constitutional Law - January 03, 2020

The Ontario Court of Appeal has issued a decision that will likely make it more difficult for defendants in complex...

Does the WSIB bar lawsuits for employment related stress? Apparently (in some cases)

Subject:Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Mental Stress - December 11, 2019

Historically, workers’ compensation law placed a highly restrictive definition on traumatic mental stress...

Unretiring Reasonable Notice: ONCA Confirms 24-Month Notice Cap

Subject:Developments in Reasonable Notice Jurisprudence - June 28, 2019

Employers have noted with alarm that judicial decisions regarding employee entitlements on termination have gradually...

Bill 66 is Now Law – New Rules for Overtime Averaging, Excess Hours

Subject:Bill 66, overtime averaging agreement, excess hours agreement - April 04, 2019

The Ontario government has ushered in further employer-friendly amendments to workplace laws with the passing of Bill...

How to LOSE a Union Application for Certification

Subject:How to LOSE a Union Application for Certification - February 21, 2019

A tongue-in-cheek checklist of what we would recommend employers not-do to repond to union organizing and...

The Fine Line between “Owner” and “Constructor”: Court Comments on the Legal Role of an “Owner” on a Construction Project

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - February 12, 2019

One of the most complex issues under Ontario OH&S law relates to determining which party on a construction...

Ontario is Open for Business - Bill 47 Receives Royal Assent

Subject:Bill 47 Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, Bill 148 - November 23, 2018

Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, received Royal Assent on November 21, 2018. 

Bill 148 Rollback Alert

Subject:Bill 47 Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018, Bill 148 - October 26, 2018

Ontario’s Conservative government has moved to repeal most of the changes to the province’s employment...

Immigration and Marijuana Update

Subject:Marijuana Legalization - October 12, 2018

With the impending legalization of marijuana, our corporate immigration counsel answers the most common questions...

The Crown Pierces the Corporate Veil: Court Imposes Liability on Individual for Fines Imposed Against a Corporate Defendant

Subject:The Crown Pierces the Corporate Veil: Court Imposes Liability on Individual for Fines Imposed Against a Corporate Defendant - August 17, 2018

An Ontario court has revolutionized the law with respect to whether an individual can be held personally liable for...

Personal Emergency Leave – Your Questions Answered

Subject:Bill 148 - June 20, 2018

Due to excellent participation in our recent Bill 148 Q & A Quarterly Webinar, and popular demand for more...

Ontario Government Does About-Face on Bill 148 Public Holiday Pay Calculation

Subject:Bill 148 - May 09, 2018

In response to strong pushback from the business community, the Ontario government has doubled back on recent changes...

Bill 148 is Now Law

Subject:Bill 148 - December 21, 2017

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017. This means that the Bill...

Be Prepared to Pay: Massive Increases to Fines Under the OHSA and Other Important Changes Coming

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - November 29, 2017

The government has proposed Bill 177, vaguely titled budget legislation that includes a number of important...

Court of Appeal Confirms Purchaser Not Bound to Vendor’s Employment Contracts

Subject:Sale of Business - November 22, 2017

A recent case from the Court of Appeal, reversing a motion judge’s ruling, illustrated the advantage of...

Ontario’s Court of Appeal Strikes Down Yet Another Termination Clause

Subject:Termination Clauses - October 25, 2017

A recent Court of Appeal decision confirmed that where a termination clause provides less than any one of the minimum...

Silver Linings: Court of Appeal Upholds Clause Limiting Bonus Entitlement on Termination

Subject:Bonus Entitlement on Termination - June 30, 2017

Recent Canadian jurisprudence has been quite unfavourable on the issue of liability for bonuses payable after...

Employment Termination Clauses: Another One Bites the Dust

Subject:Termination Clause Update - March 27, 2017

Employers are increasingly using termination of employment clauses in employment offers and contracts to reduce the...

Have we reached the tipping point?

Subject:Construction Union Organizing Update - February 06, 2017

Any time that an Ontario construction industry employer is targeted by a union’s application for certification,...

Yes – Corporations DO Have Rights: Part II

Subject:Fitness One - January 16, 2017

The Ontario Court of Justice recently stayed all charges against several corporate defendants and one corporate...

Yes – Corporations DO Have Rights

Subject:OHS Update - December 13, 2016

A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Justice confirms that, pursuant to a new framework from the Supreme Court...

Hindsight is 20/20 – Employer obligations under the workplace violence provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - October 19, 2016

Should an employer be found guilty for OH&S violations based on hindsight?

Blame the Lawyer? Drawing Best Practices for In-House Counsel from the Jurisprudence

Subject:Employment Law, Human Rights, Workplace Investigations - September 14, 2016

A recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision provides a rare opportunity to directly draw lessons and best...

Courts Weigh in on ‘Independent’ Contractor Relationships in Construction

Subject:Employment Law Update - July 29, 2016

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently rejected a company’s argument that different rules should...

No Room Left for Doubt: Ontario Introduces New Workplace Harassment Obligations

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - March 31, 2016

Workplace harassment has been at the forefront of labour and employment law over the past several years, particularly...

AODA: Overcoming Common Pitfalls

Subject:AODA - March 08, 2016

Although the AODA has been around for 10 years, the AODA Accessibility Standards were developed, and are being phased...

2015 in Review: Developments in Canadian Labour and Employment Law

Subject:Year End Update - January 18, 2016

2015 was a busy year for those following developments in labour and employment law.  Along with groundbreaking...

Experience Rating Revolution: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the WSIB’s Overhaul of How Employers Fund the System

Subject:Workers' Compensation - January 12, 2016

The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance system is about to undergo one of the most important changes in decades....

Ontario Court Continues Trend of Large Punitive Damages Awards

Subject:Employment Law - November 20, 2015

Since 2008, Courts have wrestled with wrongful dismissal claims in which employees make claims of entitlements to...

Significant Penalties in New Compliance Regime for Temporary Workers

Subject:Immigration Law - October 13, 2015

The Canadian Government has announced further changes to the foreign worker system that come into effect on December...

When Can a Terminated Employee Reject an Offer of Re-Employment?

Subject:Employment Law - September 25, 2015

Does a terminated employee have a duty to accept an offer of re-employment after termination? This issue was recently...

Ontario Government Announces Details of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Subject:Employment Law - August 31, 2015

Recently, the Ontario Government provided new details regarding the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Drug Dependency and Denial: Alberta Court of Appeal Rules Denial not a Shield to Discipline

Subject:human rights - August 27, 2015

A recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal sheds light on how Canadian courts will treat post-termination...

Project Manager Convicted of Criminal Charges in Christmas Eve Swing Stage Collapse

Subject:Occupational Health and Safety - July 14, 2015

The tragic Christmas Eve 2009 swing stage collapse which led to the deaths of four workers and the serious injury of...

More Updates

HR Blog

Anti-Climactic Appellate Ruling Declines to Interpret IDEL

May 19, 2022

The Ontario Court of Appeal has returned to the courts below the question of whether an (alleged) infectious disease emergency leave pursuant to Ontario's Employment Standards Act, may nevertheless trigger a constructive dismissal under the common law.

WSIB Announces New Rebate Program for Employers

October 07, 2021

The Ontario government has announced that it intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would permit a portion of the WSIB's surplus to be distributed amongst “safe” employers.

Ontario Paid COVID Sick Leave – Latest Update

May 11, 2021

Although neither the legislation nor the Ministry's website has yet to be updated to confirm this officially, we understand that some Ministry of Labour officials have expressed the view that employees who had already exhausted their contractual paid sick leave entitlements for the year before April 19, 2021, would be eligible to receive a fresh entitlement to three, employer-paid COVID sick leave days.

Ontario Paid COVID Sick Leave – Update

May 06, 2021

Ambiguity still unresolved regarding whether employees who have exhausted their sick bank are eligibile for additional paid COVID sick leave pay under new legislative amendments.

22nd Annual, First Reference Ontario Employment Law Conference

March 05, 2021

This year, we’re going virtual again! Join us on June 17, 2021, to Learn the Latest® about the essential HR-law topics for 2021 and beyond. For the 22nd year, we’ve partnered with First Reference to bring you the Ontario Employment Law Conference. Join us for this interactive and informative event.

Landon Young and Ryan Conlin named to the Best Lawyers in Canada 2021 list

October 16, 2020

We are proud to announce that our Managing Partner, Landon Young, and Partner, Ryan Conlin, have been selected again by their peers to the Best Lawyers in Canada 2021 list.

Open for Business

March 17, 2020

Stringer LLP remains open for business and here to help our clients manage during these challenging times.

Unionizing Foodora - Labour Laws Adapt to the Gig Economy?

February 26, 2020

Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the couriers at mobile food ordering app, Foodora, have won an important first decision in their bid to unionize.  What does this mean for the evolution of labour laws and adaptation to the gig economy?

Recent Amendments to Rule 76 Simplified Procedure

January 29, 2020

Recent amendments to Rule 76 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure will help to reduce legal costs and streamline the litigation process in the province. 

A wrongful dismissal time warp – When is two years really six?

December 24, 2019

Thankfully, the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that employees cannot await the conclusion of criminal proceedings to judge the strength of their wrongful dismissal claim before commencing a lawsuit against their former employers.

Looks like a Duck: ONCA Returns Telecommunications Construction to Provincial Jurisdiction

December 13, 2019

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision serves to remind employers that the presumption of provincial jurisdiction over labour relations will only be displaced in the clearest of cases.

Immigration Issues in M&A Transactions

November 01, 2019

When immigration issues in M & A transactions are flagged promptly, timely steps can usually be taken to avoid potentially serious consequences.

Tribunal Awards Four Years’ Lost Wages to Job Applicant Who Lied About Immigration Status

September 24, 2019

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently awarded $101,363.16, representing four years’ lost salary, and $15,000.00 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect to a job applicant who was denied a position after lying about his ability to work legally in Canada on a permanent basis.  

Embracing the #MeToo Movement

September 18, 2019

#MeToo has quickly caught wind as a widespread movement that sheds light on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace. As a result of the movement, society’s attitudes towards workplace sexual harassment have started to change; but, has this impacted how courts and tribunals approach sexual harassment cases?

Register Now for our Annual Conference

September 11, 2019

Registration is now open for our 33rd Annual Employers' Conference.  Reserve your seat now.

No “Passing the Torch”: Only Unions and Employers (Not Grievors) May Bring Judicial Review Applications

August 13, 2019

The Divisional Court recently confirmed that employees unhappy with their union’s handling of a grievance or the result, will not be afforded the opportunity to attack an unfavorable arbitration decision by initiating judicial review proceedings.

Alleged Multi-Million Dollar Employee Benefits Fraud at Baycrest Hospital

July 11, 2019

Ryan Conlin quoted in the National Post and speaks with CTV News and 610 CKTB Radio re Multi-million dollar employee benefits fraud allegedly involving 150 Baycrest Hospital employees.

Frank Portman Appointed to Advocates' Society Labour and Employment Practice Group

July 05, 2019

We are pleased to announce that Frank Portman has been appointed as a member-at-large to the Advocates' Society Labour and Employment Practice Group.

Can a Corporate Director face a Personal Injury Suit for a Workplace Accident? Alberta Court of Appeal Says Yes!

May 14, 2019

The fundamental principle of workers’ compensation across Canada is that workers who suffer an injury “in the course of employment” give up their right to sue their employer and others in tort, in exchange for access to the no fault workers’ compensation benefit system.  However, there are exceptions to this principle, which may expose uninsured workplace parties to significant liability, including directors, as a recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal shows.

Think You Suffered Family Status Discrimination? First Things First – Were You Employed in Ontario or B.C.?

April 16, 2019

The law governing family status discrimination under human rights legislation is unsettled and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  A new decision from the British Columbia Court of Appeal only deepens this divide, which it appears only the Supreme Court of Canada may bridge.

Does Human Rights Legislation Apply to Job Ads on Facebook?

April 12, 2019

Technological advancements frequently outpace the law’s ability to respond to the challenges they create. With the click of a button, employers can now reach hundreds or even thousands of potential job applicants by posting advertisements on online platforms. But research suggests that this convenience is facilitating certain recruitment practices that may be discriminatory.

Has BC Court opened the door to more court claims of harassment?

April 09, 2019

A recent case from the British Columbia Court of Appeal suggests that courts may have broader jurisdiction over human rights claims than they have previously asserted.

Employer’s Just Cause Assertion Backfires, Results in $1,000,000 in Liability

February 28, 2019

Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial decision in which an employer’s tactical pursuit of a just cause defence and counterclaim backfired catastrophically and resulted in a cumulative award of over $1 Million.

Never Too Late: Court Rejects Employee’s Attempt to Avoid Liability for Theft

December 19, 2018

What options are available to an employer who, after signing a mutual release releasing an employee from liability, finds out that the employee embezzled a large amount of money?  A recent Ontario court case suggests that the employer may still be able to pursue the employee for the amounts wrongfully taken, as well as invalidate a severance agreement.

Mud in the Water: Divisional Court holds limiting language required to displace presumption of reasonable notice

December 18, 2018

A recent Divisional Court decision continues the trend of termination clauses being struck down and suggests that more termination clauses could be invalid than previously thought. 

Bill 66 Proposes Further Employer-Friendly Amendments to Workplace Laws

December 10, 2018

The Ontario government introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2018 on December 6, 2018. Bill 66 passed First Reading, and is set to bring about further employer-friendly amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (the “LRA”).

Reporting Bad Conduct to Regulator Defamed Ex-Employee

December 04, 2018

The Court of Appeal recently confirmed that an employer defamed an ex-employee when the employer filed a false report with an industry regulator.

The Truth Will Set You Free – A Bad Reference is Not Necessarily Defamatory

November 12, 2018

The Divisional Court recently upheld a trial decision finding that an employer did not defame a former employee when it gave him a bad reference.

Jeff Murray Certified as a Specialist in Labour Law

November 09, 2018

We are proud to announce that the Law Society of Ontario recently designated Jeff Murray as a Certified Specialist in Labour Law.


Ontario Court Confirms that Unwanted Management is not a Constructive Dismissal

November 05, 2018

A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms that employers remain able to manage their workplace even when employees disagree or are unhappy with how they are managed.

Zero Tolerance Policies and Medicinal Marijuana

September 28, 2018

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal weighs in on the legality of a “zero tolerance” policy for workplace (medicinal) marijuana consumption.

Court Disregards Release where Settlement “Unconscionable”

August 29, 2018

The Ontario Superior Court recently allowed an employee to proceed with claims against his former employer regarding long-term disability insurance, even though he had signed a release in exchange for a severance package when his employment ended. 

Ontario Court of Appeal Finds Clarity in Termination Clause

July 25, 2018

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overruled a decision regarding a termination clause, finding that the provision clearly and unambiguously ousted the presumption of common law reasonable notice.

Save the Date: 2018 Annual Employers' Conference

July 24, 2018

Mark your calendars on November 8, for our 32nd Annual Employers' Conference.

November 8

Suspensions: Caution Required

July 18, 2018

A recent case from the Ontario Court of Appeal highlights the risks of using suspensions, particularly unpaid ones, but also provides insight as to how employers may implement them.

Superior Court Confirms that Employers can Fundamentally Change Employment Contracts with Reasonable Notice

July 11, 2018

In Lancia v. Park Dentistry, the Ontario Superior Court confirmed that employers can change the fundamental terms of an employee’s employment, without providing consideration, so long as they take appropriate steps to provide reasonable notice of the change coupled with notice that employment under current terms would terminate at the end of that notice period.

Standard Release Language May Not Protect Against Sexual Harassment Allegations

June 25, 2018

The Ontario Superior Court recently found that sexual harassment does not necessarily “arise out of” the employment relationship, even when it is perpetrated by another employee at the workplace. As such, releases purporting to settle all claims arising out of, or in any way connected to, an employment relationship may not effectively bar subsequent sexual harassment claims. 

Unsafe on the Roads, Unsafe in the Warehouse: Workers Convicted of “Distracted” Operation

June 19, 2018

A recent case from the Ontario Court of Justice suggests that workplace policies can be a significant component in determining what constitutes unsafe conduct under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Court Confirms Signaling Does Not Have to Be a Worker’s Only Job

May 07, 2018

The Ontario Court of Justice was asked to determine what constitutes "not performing other work" as a signaller.

In Memory of Ted Stringer

March 12, 2018

In Memory of Ted Stringer

A vibrant mentor and respected advocate, all of us at Stringer LLP are saddened at the loss of our Firm's founder. Condolences to his family and close friends. He will be missed.

Then Now Next: Ontario Government To Introduce Pay Transparency Legislation

March 06, 2018

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this morning that the Ontario government would introduce new legislation aimed at increasing pay transparency as part of a broader strategy to advance women’s economic empowerment entitled “Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment”.

Shifting Sands: Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Termination Clause

February 28, 2018

Employers, ever-weary of the next judicial pronouncement on the enforceability of specific termination clauses in employment contracts, may mark a recent decision by Ontario’s top court down on the positive side of the ledger.

Revoking Telecommute Agreement A Constructive Dismissal

February 20, 2018

The Ontario Superior Court recently found that an employee had been constructively dismissed when her employer reneged on its promise that she could work from home three days per week.

Termination Clauses: Clearly Restrictive Language Necessary for Enforceability

February 15, 2018

The Alberta Court of Appeal recently upheld a trial decision that struck a termination clause down as unenforceable.

Consideration: What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

January 31, 2018

In a unique set of circumstances, the Ontario Superior Court recently found that changes to an employment contract which benefited an employee were void because the employer did not receive consideration.

The Value of Consideration: New Employer, New Contract, New Rules

January 05, 2018

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently restored an employment termination clause that a motion judge struck down as invalid for lack of consideration.

Working Notice Inappropriate for Employees Who Cannot Work

December 19, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded an employee on leave due to disability, damages representing the salary he would have earned had he been able to work during the working notice period set by his employer.

No Bonus Entitlement - “Active Employment” Requirement did not Violate ESA

December 04, 2017

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently denied entitlement to bonus payout to an employee who quit his job. The Court found that the language of the bonus plan, requiring “active employment” as a condition to receive a payout, did not violate the Employment Standards Act. 

Stringer LLP - Prize in Labour Law

November 27, 2017

Congratulations to the recipient of this year's, Stringer LLP Prize in Labour Law.

Change is Coming: Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act Passes Third Reading

November 22, 2017

Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, passed its third and final reading today.

Ambiguity Killed the Termination Clause

November 20, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court recently struck down a termination clause in an employment agreement because of a seemingly minor ambiguity. 

Short Service Employee gets Four Months’ Pay in Lieu of Reasonable Notice

November 16, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded four months of pay in lieu of reasonable notice to an employee with less than a year of tenure.

Preferential Treatment for Employees with Active WSIB Claims not Discriminatory

October 25, 2017

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario recently held that it is not discriminatory for employers to treat disabled workers with active WSIB claims more favourably in the accommodation process than disabled workers without such claims.

Overtime Averaging: No Notice, No Harm, No Foul

October 11, 2017

In a recent decision, the Divisional Court refused to grant damages to a terminated employee for an employer’s failure comply with legislative requirements regarding overtime averaging. 

Court Gives Guidance as to When OHSA Prosecutions May Lead to Jail Time

September 29, 2017

A recent Ontario appeal, helps shines much needed light on the subject of when individuals may be subject to imprisonment for health and safety offences.

Court Limits Bonus Entitlement During Notice Period

September 22, 2017

So when is an employee entitled to a bonus during the reasonable notice period? 

Court of Appeal Rules on Employers’ Obligations to Protect Employees from Harassment and Violence when they are Away from the Workplace

September 19, 2017

In a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court’s ruling that a citizen’s harassing behaviour toward members of city council did not fall within the ambit of the Occupational Health and Safety Act because it did not occur at the "workplace". 

Court Rules that Rejected Separation Packages are to Remain Confidential

September 05, 2017

It is common practice for employers to offer departing employees, who are being terminated without cause, a separation package in exchange for a signed release from liability. But if the employee rejects the package, the employer may not be allowed to rely on the offer during any subsequent litigation. 

Can a Defendant be Charged Criminally After Pleading Guilty to OHSA Charges?

August 25, 2017

A supervisor who pleaded guilty under OH&S legislation was later charged with criminal negligence causing death.  The criminal charges were recently dismissed, but the door is theoretically still open in other cases now and in the future.

Avoid Procedural Missteps when Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace

August 25, 2017

A recent decision of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario should serve as a lesson to all employers who wrestle with the complexities of accommodating mental disabilities in the workplace.

British Columbia to Reinstate Human Rights Commission

August 17, 2017

British Columbia Premier John Horgan announced earlier this month that the province will reinstate its Human Rights Commission. 

Court Comments on when Employers can ask for an Independent Medical Examination

August 16, 2017

Ontario’s Divisional Court recently confirmed that employers have a right to ask employees to undergo an Independent Medical Examination (“IME”) in certain circumstances, to facilitate the accommodation process.

Smoked Out: Employer Convicted When Employee Smokes in Truck

July 28, 2017

Do you have a policy prohibiting your employees from smoking when they drive alone in a company vehicle?  If not, you may be breaking the law

Court Awards Significant Costs Award Against Thieving Employee

July 21, 2017

A recent cost decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice suggests that employers who successfully defend themselves from a wrongful dismissal action by asserting just cause may be entitled to recoup a significant amount of their legal costs. 

Minimizing Mitigation: Court of Appeal gives employee benefit of the doubt

July 07, 2017

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision dealt a blow to employers’ ability to credit employee mitigation efforts and income against wrongful dismissal damages. 

Honesty is the best policy - Court of Appeal upholds dishonest employee’s dismissal for just cause

June 19, 2017

Employers are often faced with the galling choice between asserting just cause for termination, and paying potentially large sums of money to departing employees who have been caught lying, cheating, or stealing. Just cause is a very high standard. Often, instead of relying on misconduct or performance issues, employers elect to terminate problem employees without cause. 

Bad facts make bad law (for employers): Court recognizes new tort of harassment

June 14, 2017

The Ontario Superior Court recently recognized a new tort that would allow employees to sue their employers for harassment in civil court.

Mitigating by returning to work: it depends on the circumstances

June 02, 2017

When must a dismissed employee accept an offer of alternate employment with their employer? In some circumstances, employees will be obligated to accept continued employment with the company that terminated them to mitigate their losses. A recent Court of Appeal decision reminds us, however, that an employer’s offer must meet certain conditions or else the employee may refuse to accept it. 

Is it work-related? Novel workers’ compensation decisions deal with harassment and assault

May 18, 2017

It may seem fairly obvious when a worker breaks her leg “in the course of employment”. However, injuries and illnesses related to bullying and harassment have drawn significant attention in recent years, and decisions from various workers’ compensation tribunals across the country illustrate that determining the work-relatedness of such injuries is no simple task.

Private member’s Bill seeks union-favourable amendments, without waiting for the Changing Workplaces Review

May 08, 2017

Many employers include termination clauses in employment contracts to limit their liability when dismissing employees. When employers draft generous termination provisions providing for more than statutory minimums, they must follow through on that generosity when terminating employees. Failing to do so could leave employers exposed to full liability under the common law.

Generous termination clauses: Think twice before making promises

April 28, 2017

Many employers include termination clauses in employment contracts to limit their liability when dismissing employees. When employers draft generous termination provisions providing for more than statutory minimums, they must follow through on that generosity when terminating employees. Failing to do so could leave employers exposed to full liability under the common law.

May 3 - Ryan and Jeremy to Present on Marijuana in the Workplace at WSPS Conference

April 17, 2017

Ryan Conlin and Jeremy Schwartz will be speaking on May 3 at Partners in Prevention presented by the WSPS.

Using independent contractor not a “get out of jail free” card

April 12, 2017

A business’ obligations to its workers will depend on whether the workers are employees or independent contractors. However, a recent decision reminds us that, even where a worker is a true independent contractor, this distinction may not preclude a business being liable to third parties, such as customers, when the worker does something wrong.

Constructive dismissal? A question of interpretation

April 05, 2017

Would it be a constructive dismissal to refuse to pay an employee the third of a million dollars you owe him? Perhaps not.

March 31 - Last day for early bird registration

March 31, 2017

March 31 is the last day for early bird registration at this year's Ontario Employment Law Conference.

The Accidental Termination

March 15, 2017

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision highlights the importance of maintaining composure – and not venting frustrations upon employees.

Addiction without compulsion: no defence to serious misconduct using the “hybrid” approach

March 03, 2017

The law on addiction has evolved over the years in arbitral jurisprudence.  Earlier decisions treated illness as a mitigating factor on penalty.  In more recent decisions, arbitrators have treated the human rights accommodation analysis as relevant to the assessment of the gravity and culpability of misconduct itself.

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