Employment contracts, termination clauses, and itchy trigger fingers

June 28, 2015 - by: Bruce Grist 0 COMMENTS

by Bruce R. Grist

As there is no employment at will in Canada, most employment lawyers in Canada who act for employers recommend that employers use employment contracts to govern the employee’s relationship with the employer. If there is an employment contract and the employer wishes to terminate the employee’s employment or the employee wishes to resign, the parties’ obligations are clearly set out in the contract.

Properly drafted employment contracts prevent the uncertainty that arises with respect to termination of employment and “reasonable notice.” read more…

Occupational health and safety due diligence defense alive and well

June 21, 2015 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

A recent case involving charges against a company under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act has confirmed that the defense of due diligence is alive and well. The defense of due diligence—which may allow employers to avoid a conviction under occupational health and safety legislation—can be difficult to establish. Even in cases where a worker is injured as a result of his or her own misconduct, the defense cannot always be made out. But in the right factual circumstances, it is still possible to successfully advance the due diligence defense notwithstanding the high standard applied. read more…

Unfixing a fixed-term contract

June 14, 2015 - by: Eowynne Noble 0 COMMENTS

by Eowynne Noble

In a recent good-news decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice shed new light on how damages should be awarded if a fixed-term contract is terminated early and the termination provision is unenforceable. read more…

Settling up: the need for specificity in employee releases

June 07, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess and Kyle Cadieux

An employer in Canada would be forgiven for thinking that a release of liability related to employment would protect it from all future claims by that employee. However, a recent Alberta Human Rights Tribunal decision, Hutton v. ARC Business Solutions Inc., 2015 AHRC 7, suggests that the matter is not that simple. read more…

Case signals lower threshold for mental distress when cause allegation fails

May 31, 2015 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

By Thora Sigurdson

The British Columbia Supreme Court recently awarded damages for mental distress in the context of a termination for cause. The decision in George v. Cowichan Tribes signals that it may be easier to establish such a claim when there is a just cause allegation that fails, compared with terminations without cause. It confirms that employers in Canada need to be very careful when alleging cause. read more…

Changes coming to union certification process for federally regulated employers

May 17, 2015 - by: Daniel Mayer 0 COMMENTS

by Daniel Mayer

On June 16, important changes regarding union certification and decertification for federally regulated employers in Canada will come into effect. The federally regulated sector includes interprovincial and international transportation companies, airlines, railways, banks, and employees who work for the federal government. read more…

New work permit requirements apply whether employer is in Canada or U.S.

May 10, 2015 - by: Gilda Villaran 0 COMMENTS

by Gilda Villaran

Employers whose employees must apply for a work permit or extension in order to work in Canada should be aware of a new compliance form and fee that they must submit before the person applies for the work permit. This came into effect February 21. Ports of entry into Canada may refuse to issue the work permits if the employer’s form and fee have not been submitted in advance. read more…

The case for cause with a single act of employee misconduct

May 03, 2015 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

The Supreme Court of Canada tells Canadian employers that they must strike a balance between the severity of the misconduct and the sanction imposed when deciding whether to terminate employment for cause. So what happens when the misconduct is a single act? Can that justify termination for cause? According to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union, the answer is yes. read more…

Drug testing does not always violate fundamental rights

by Marie-Gabrielle Bélanger

In Canada, the criteria for allowing random drug or alcohol testing in the workplace are very limited because these tests are regarded by our courts as an invasion of an employee’s privacy. But what about requiring targeted testing of an employee suffering from an addiction? read more…

Transferred employee’s wrongful dismissal suit lands in New York court

April 19, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Bonny Mak Waterfall and Rachel Younan

When a Canadian employer transfers its employee to a non-Canadian entity, is it still on the hook for wrongful dismissal damages? Recently, an Ontario court declined to hear a civil action claiming wrongful dismissal damages from an employee who was transferred to a United States subsidiary of a Canadian company. However, the judgment left open the possibility that different facts may lead to a different result. read more…

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