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…

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…

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…

Employee or self-employed? That is the question!

March 02, 2015 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Alexandra Meunier and Yves Turgeon

In the financial services industry, the status of insurance and financial product sales reps is often in question. Are they employees or independent contractors? No matter what part of Canada you’re in, it is important to get it right. read more…

Commissions during the notice period: contractual language rules

January 04, 2015 - by: Thora Sigurdson 0 COMMENTS

By Thora A. Sigurdson

In Sciancamerli v. Comtech (Communication Technologies) Ltd., 2014 BCSC 2140, a specialized salesperson was terminated without cause after 10 months’ service. He sued for wrongful dismissal. At trial, the main issues were the length of notice for a short-term salesperson and his entitlement, if any, to commission payments during the notice period. This case is a reminder to Canadian employers of the importance of carefully drafted language in employment contracts. read more…

Purchaser of bankrupt Quebec business found liable to executive it didn’t hire

November 30, 2014 - by: Marie-Gabrielle Belanger 0 COMMENTS

By Marie-Gabrielle Bélanger

The purchaser of all the assets of a bankrupt business will be bound by the employment contracts of the bankrupt company and must therefore honor these contracts. So ruled the Court of Appeal of Quebec in a recent decision, Aéro-Photo (1961) Inc. c. Raymond (available in French only). read more…

Termination clause as a ticking time bomb: Are courts in Ontario changing approach?

November 16, 2014 - by: Marc Rodrigue 0 COMMENTS

by Marc Rodrigue

To the chagrin of many employers in Canada, the courts have made the drafting and enforcement of termination provisions in an employment contract challenging. In recent years, case law in Ontario has been particularly harsh in striking down termination provisions that may be contrary to the statutory provisions of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in some circumstances but not others (e.g., entitlements meet the requirements for the first five years of employment but not thereafter).

A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ford v. Keegan, 2014 ONSC 4989, provides some indication that the court in Ontario has not fully settled on when striking a termination clause is appropriate. As opposed to the treatment of termination clauses in other cases, the court in this case indicated that a termination clause, so long as it meets the ESA minimums at the time an employee is dismissed, should be enforced. read more…

Quebec employers can’t waive notice period provided by resigning employee without providing notice

October 19, 2014 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

Most employers in Quebec know that under Quebec’s Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) and the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ), an employer who wishes to terminate an indefinite contract of employment without serious reason must provide notice or pay in lieu of notice. Employees who wish to resign must also give their employer notice of resignation.

In Commission des normes du travail v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., the Supreme Court of Canada held that when an employee gives notice of resignation, the employer cannot waive the notice period and terminate the contract of employment without providing notice or pay in lieu of notice. read more…

British Columbia court offers more lessons about employment contracts

September 14, 2014 - by: Monique Orieux 0 COMMENTS

by Monique Orieux

Last year in Northern Exposure we shared five key lessons about Canadian employment contracts arising from the trial court’s decision in Miller v. Convergys CMG Canada Limited Partnership. The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently issued its decision in the case: Miller v. Convergys CMG Canada Limited Partnership, 2014 BCCA 311. Its decision reinforces those lessons. It also serves as a reminder that employment agreements should be tailored to the individual circumstances of each employee. read more…

Employer obtains injunction to prevent misuse of its confidential information

September 07, 2014 - by: David McDonald 0 COMMENTS

by David McDonald

When an employee announces that he or she is resigning in order to go work for a competitor, it is only natural for an employer to become anxious—particularly when the departing employee has access to the business’s confidential information. Complicating matters further is the technological ease with which an employee can wrongfully divert an employer’s confidential information if he or she wishes to do so. read more…

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