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

Time Published on August 06, 2015

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 litigation

Workplace Investigations – Will Yours Survive Tribunal Scrutiny?

Time Published on July 28, 2015

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

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 litigation

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

Time Published on June 19, 2015

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

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

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 litigation

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

Time Published on May 22, 2015

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

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 litigation

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

Time Published on May 14, 2015

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

Adjudicator Upholds Termination for Breach of Employer’s Technology Policy

Time Published on May 07, 2015

A recent case involving a federal government worker serves as an illustration of some of the unique issues raised by employee misuse of technology.

Tag employment law,  privacy

The Supreme Court Weighs In on Suspensions and Constructive Dismissals

Time Published on April 30, 2015

Employers are often surprised to learn of the risks of constructive dismissal when suspending non-unionized employees. In a recent decision, Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission, the Supreme Court of Canada was asked to decide whether an indefinite suspension with pay constituted a constructive dismissal.


Court Rejects Crown’s Bid to Use General Duty Clause to Impose More Stringent Health and Safety Requirements

Time Published on April 21, 2015

While the scope of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is broad, it is not limitless.  A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Justice held that where the nature of a workplace means that it is not required to implement a protective measure prescribed by the Regulations, the Crown cannot then successfully charge the employer with failing to reasonably protect a worker as a result of non-implementation of that same measure.


The Limits on the Duty to Accommodate

Time Published on April 16, 2015

A recent case from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario provides guidance to employers on the extent of the duty to accommodate. In Pourasadi v Bentley Leathers Inc., the Applicant alleged that she was discriminated against on the basis of disability after her employment as a Store Manager was terminated. She argued that the employer failed to provide reasonable accommodation to the point of undue hardship.


Frank Portman to present at WSPS Conference & Trade Show: Understanding Bill 18: OHSA Protection for Young Workers and Unpaid Interns

Time Published on April 15, 2015

Frank Portman to present at WSPS Conference & Trade Show: Understanding Bill 18: OHSA Protection for Young Workers and Unpaid Interns.

Tag occupational health and safety

Shift-Shopping Endorsement Upheld by Alberta Court

Time Published on March 31, 2015

The Alberta Court of Queen’s bench recently reviewed the arbitrator’s decision in SMS Equipment, a case on which we have written before (see our update on the decision here), and one of the first in the current wave of cases concerning the entitlement of employees to accommodation for child care obligations under human rights legislation.

Tag human rights