Employee fired for expressing political views at work wins reinstatement and damages

November 01, 2015 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

With a Canadian federal election recently behind us, it is safe to say that politics has been a hot topic of discussion in some Canadian workplaces. A Quebec employer was recently reminded, at significant cost, that employees are entitled to express their political opinions at work and may not be fired for doing so. read more…

Sharing the pain: Do economic conditions count?

September 20, 2015 - by: Clayton Jones 0 COMMENTS

by Clayton Jones

Does a poor economy mean a shorter reasonable notice period? Canadian employers often ask this question—particularly in cyclical industries.

When assessing reasonable notice, courts will consider the employee’s position and responsibilities, length of service, age, and the availability of similar employment. Not only has it been unusual for courts to consider negative economic conditions as a factor justifying a reduced notice period, this has typically been used to lengthen the notice period in favor of the employee.

However, there are two cases from the past year—one from Ontario and one from Alberta—where the court was prepared to give the employer some credit for the economic situation it found itself in. read more…

Not all relapses are created equal

July 12, 2015 - by: Stephanie Gutierrez 0 COMMENTS

by Stephanie Gutierrez

An addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is considered a disability in Canada. As such, employers in Canada often enter into last chance agreements with employees suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. But does a last chance agreement always mean it’s the employee’s “last chance”? Not necessarily. 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…

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…

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…

A slo-pitch: Playing baseball when ‘sick’ = cause for termination

March 29, 2015 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

Unexpected employee absences from work can be difficult for employers. Customer service may be compromised. Others’ jobs need to be adjusted. And an employer’s trust in the employee can be damaged. So can an employer terminate an employee for lying about the reason for an absence? read more…

Dishonesty: When can you fire someone for it?

February 01, 2015 - by: Lindsey Taylor 0 COMMENTS

by Lindsey Taylor

The British Columbia Court of Appeal recently reaffirmed that dishonest conduct may be just cause for dismissal without notice. Or it may not. To determine if it is just cause, the conduct must be assessed looking at the whole context of the employment relationship. read more…

Google: not a replacement for individualized accommodation

January 25, 2015 - by: Megan Rolland 0 COMMENTS

by Megan Rolland

It may be convenient and easy to use, but you cannot find the answer to everything on the Internet. As one Canadian employer recently learned, Google research on a medical condition is not a proper substitute for individualized accommodation. read more…

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