Incentive plan entitlements on wrongful dismissal

November 08, 2015 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

By Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, the wording of incentive plans can have a significant impact on the payments required on termination without cause. This point was highlighted by three Ontario decisions earlier this year. read more…

No short-term disability benefits for tummy tuck recovery

February 08, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

In an interesting case, the Superior Court of Quebec in Syndicat des agents de la paix en services correctionnels du Québec v. Pineau confirmed on judicial review an earlier arbitration decision denying an employee short-term disability benefits for the recovery period following cosmetic surgery. read more…

Insuring long-term disability insurance

October 26, 2014 - by: Richard Johnston 0 COMMENTS

by Richard E. Johnston

In Canada, benefit plans are subject to legislation related to income tax, human rights, and employment standards. However, there is little specific regulation of benefit plans other than pension plans. A key exception is the provision of long-term disability benefits that are not funded under an insurance contract—at least for federally regulated employers such as the banks, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, and employers in Ontario. read more…

Duties more important than titles when determining eligibility for overtime

August 03, 2014 - by: Marc Ouellet 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Ouellet

The issue of overtime has become a major concern for employers in the wake of class actions on the subject in Canada. The Québec Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) provides exemptions from the right to overtime including for employees in managerial positions. In Skiba v. Playground, L.P., the Court of Appeal of Québec recently clarified which employees may be exempt as “managers” in Quebec. While the applicable statutes vary across Canada, the fundamental principles applied are similar. Thus this decision may have persuasive value outside of Quebec. read more…

Minimum wage debate alive in Canada, too

April 06, 2014 - by: Bonny Mak Waterfall 0 COMMENTS

By Bonny Mak Waterfall

Minimum wage increases may not be quite as controversial in Canada as they appear to be in the United States, but the issue is certainly alive. Four Canadian provinces and one territory have announced increases to their minimum wage rates for 2014: read more…

Overtime class actions on the increase in Canada

March 30, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

By Hannah Roskey

Overtime class actions are alive and well in Canada. This was confirmed by a recent Ontario court decision. In Rosen v. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., a Superior Court judge allowed such a class action, brought on behalf of a group of investment advisers, to proceed. read more…

Until death do us part: Attempts to reduce retiree benefits fail—for now

September 01, 2013 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Ralph Nero, Ross Gascho, and Keri Bennett

As in the United States, some Canadian employers have attempted to eliminate or reduce post-retirement benefits in order to address escalating costs. In two recent cases, Canadian employers were found to be not entitled to reduce post-retirement health and life insurance benefits. Courts in both Ontario and British Columbia have recently ruled that, under the respective plans before them, the employer’s “reservation of rights” (ROR) to make such changes was not sufficiently clear and unambiguous. read more…

Indefinite protection for federal employee disabled by work-related injury

November 11, 2012 - by: Nicola Sutton 0 COMMENTS

by Nicola Sutton

When the employment relationship becomes impossible to perform because of a factor outside the control of a Canadian employer or employee, the employee’s employment can be terminated by virtue of frustration of contract. When an employee won’t be able to return to work because of injury or illness, the same applies. But not so for federally regulated employers such as banks, airlines, inter-provincial trucking companies, etc.

According to the recent decision of Kingsway Transport v. Teamsters, Local Union 91, the frustration argument is no longer available for those employers when the employee’s inability to return to work is because of a work-related injury or illness. read more…

Breaching duties and cashing checks: An employee’s entitlement to bonuses after termination

October 14, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Marisa Victor and Christopher Copeland

Can a Canadian employee who is fired for cause sue for outstanding bonuses? What about if those bonuses relate to the period of the employee’s wrongdoing? This was the issue in Mady Development Corp. v. Rossetto, when a terminated executive sought to claim his bonuses for a period when he was found to be misappropriating company resources.


Leonard Rossetto was employed as an executive with a group of corporations (Mady). In fall 2007, he diverted labor, materials, and funds from Mady to renovate his house. He was fired on December 12, 2008, when Mady discovered his wrongdoing. Mady then sued him to recover the misappropriated corporate funds and resources. Rossetto counterclaimed for his bonuses for 2007 and 2008. Pursuant to his employment contract, he was entitled to an annual bonus equal to 30 percent of Mady’s profits after overhead. The parties ultimately submitted their dispute to arbitration. read more…

More mysteries of mitigation

September 02, 2012 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Karen Sargeant and Clayton Jones

Last week, we reported on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Bowes v. Goss Power Products Ltd., which found that an employee does not have a duty to mitigate where an employment contract contains a fixed severance entitlement but no express requirement to mitigate.

The Court of Appeal relied on a number of factors in coming to this conclusion, which should provide a clear warning to employers across the country. This article sets out those factors and suggests ways in which employers can make their employment agreements or offer letters more bullet-proof. read more…

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