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


Time Published on 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". 

Tag employment law,  occupational health and safety

Court Rules that Rejected Separation Packages are to Remain Confidential


Time Published on 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. 

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

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


Time Published on 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.

Tag constitutional law,  occupational health and safety

Avoid Procedural Missteps when Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace


Time Published on 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.

Tag human rights,  workers compensation

British Columbia to Reinstate Human Rights Commission


Time Published on August 17, 2017

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

Tag human rights

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


Time Published on 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.

Tag human rights

Smoked Out: Employer Convicted When Employee Smokes in Truck


Time Published on 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

Tag occupational health and safety

Court Awards Significant Costs Award Against Thieving Employee


Time Published on 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. 

Tag employment litigation,  general litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

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


Time Published on 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. 

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

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


Time Published on 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. 

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

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


Time Published on 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.

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

Mitigating by returning to work: it depends on the circumstances


Time Published on 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. 

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation

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


Time Published on 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.

Tag occupational health and safety,  workers' compensation

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


Time Published on 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.

Tag construction labour relations,  employment standards,  labour relations

Generous termination clauses: Think twice before making promises


Time Published on 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.

Tag employment law,  employment litigation,  wrongful dismissal litigation