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

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.

Probationary clauses: A double-edged sword for employers

February 17, 2017

Many employers use probation periods to assess new employees, and use contractual probationary clauses which purport to limit termination entitlements. Unfortunately, poorly drafted clauses may run afoul of the law and expose employers to significant reasonable notice awards.  

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