Employees in fiduciary relationships may be entitled to bonuses even upon breach of duties


Time Published on February 14, 2012

A recent decision, the Court of Appeal, Mady Development Corp. v. Rossetto, clarified an employee’s entitlement to bonuses who has breached their fiduciary duties to their employer.

Tag employment law,  fiduciary duties,  wrongful dismissal litigation

ONCA Upholds Brito but Quashes Punitive Award


Time Published on February 08, 2012

Brito Update-ONCA upholds damages for disability benefits in reasonable notice period, quashes punitive damages

Tag disability benefits,  employment law,  wrongful dismissal litigation

Invasion of Privacy in the Workplace Could Lead to Liability for Snooping Employees


Time Published on January 30, 2012

Recently, the Ontario Court of Appeal recognized a new tort related to privacy rights, that is, “intrusion upon seclusion”. 

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Human Rights Tribunal Heeding Clear Direction from Supreme Court


Time Published on January 25, 2012

The Tribunal’s decisions following Figliola demonstrate that the Tribunal will not allow its processes to be used to effectively review decisions of other tribunals even if the other tribunal was not as expert on human rights issues or had a different adjudicative process. 

Tag human rights

Taking a Hard Line on Termination Entitlements Ends Up Costing More


Time Published on January 09, 2012

Employers should be wary of taking unreasonable positions in an attempt to avoid paying an employee what they are likely entitled to.  This can end up being even more costly.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal litigation

Compliance deadline for the Customer Service Standards under AODA just a few short weeks away


Time Published on December 20, 2011

January 1, 2012 is the deadline for compliance with the Customer Service Standard under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”).

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When is a lay-off actually a termination?


Time Published on December 14, 2011

Employers in Ontario must be cautious before implementing “temporary” layoffs.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal litigation

The Ministry of Labour taking an active role to combat workplace violence and harassment


Time Published on December 06, 2011

Just over a year ago, the workplace violence and harassment provisions were added to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Although there have only been a few cases that deal directly with these new provisions, from the period of June 15, 2011 to March 31, 2011 the Ministry of Labour has reported that there were 600 orders issued pertaining to workplace violence and 1,100 orders issued related to workplace harassment.

Tag occupational health and safety

It's Party Time: Planning a Safe and Liability Free Office Holiday Party


Time Published on November 29, 2011

As we roll into December, many employers will be hosting an office holiday party for their employees. While these events are a great way to thank employees for their hard work in the past year, they can also open up employers to serious liability.

Tag employment law

Supreme Court of Canada Rules in Favour of Postal Workers in Pay Equity Human Rights Decision


Time Published on November 21, 2011

The claim was filed 28 years ago by female employees of Canada Post with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”), alleging discrimination due to discrepancies in pay between workers in clerical positions, which were female dominated, compared with those in the male dominated postal operations group. 

In a 2005 decision, Tribunal awarded the workers $150 million in damages plus interest. The Tribunal’s decision was overturned by the Federal Court in 2008 and this was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court overturned the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision on Thursday.

Tag employment law

Changes to Privacy Legislation: Impact on Employers' Handling of Employee Information


Time Published on November 15, 2011

The federal government has re-introduced legislation to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).  Bill C-12, Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act, which was introduced on September 29, 2011, had been previously introduced in Parliament in 2010, but failed to be passed into law because of the intervening federal election.

Tag employment law,  privacy

Credibility Key in Avoiding Aggravated/Punitive Damages


Time Published on November 07, 2011

The employee complained that he had experienced constant verbal harassment at work during the course of his seven year employment. The verbal abuse experienced by the employee included nicknames and comments regarding his sexual preferences, mental capacity and Palestinian background. Although the trial judge found the comments to be “reprehensible”, in the final analysis, the trial judge held that they were not severe enough to constitute a separate actionable wrong in the form of intentional infliction of nervous shock.

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SCC Weighs in on Costs Awards in Human Rights Complaints


Time Published on November 01, 2011

In a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court dealt with the issue of awarding legal costs in a human rights complaint.  This decision provides a good reminder to employers and employees of the significance of legal costs in such proceedings.  Read about this decision and the practical implications in our Latest Update.

Tag human rights

OLRB Does not Have "Superpowers," Divisional Court Holds


Time Published on October 31, 2011

Ontario’s Divisional Court has overturned a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “OLRB”), in which the OLRB took jurisdiction as arbitrator over a grievance in the construction industry under section 133 of the Act.

Section 133 provides that, “despite the grievance and arbitration provisions in a [construction industry] collective agreement,” a party may refer a grievance to the OLRB, instead of to a private arbitrator under the collective agreement.

Although the collective agreement’s time limits for referring a grievance to arbitration had expired several months before the union applied to the OLRB pursuant to section 133, the OLRB found that it could take jurisdiction over the grievance.  The OLRB has, over several decades, issued decisions which either broadly or strictly interpreted its power to take jurisdiction over a grievance under similar circumstances.

Tag labour relations

Employer Hit Hard for Discontinuing Disability Benefits Shortly After Termination


Time Published on October 20, 2011

Employers who only provide the minimum amounts required by employment standards legislation after termination are gambling. Sometimes this approach can result in cost savings, but it can also end in a costly damages and legal costs award as occurred in the case of Brito v. Canac Kitchens. Read our Latest Update for more information about the case, and what to do to protect your organization from such awards.

Tag employment law,  wrongful dismissal litigation