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…

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…

Staggering cost of ‘no cause’ finding: Employer pays employee LTD benefits to age 65

December 28, 2014 - by: Katherine Pollock 2 COMMENTS

By Katherine Pollock

The Ontario Superior Court decision in Fernandes v. Peel Educational, 2014 ONSC 6506, reminds employers in Canada of how badly matters can go awry when a decision on the merits of a cause case is taken out of the hands of the parties and left in the hands of a third party judge. 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…

Adverse-effect discrimination and probationary employees

September 28, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

In Canada, it is well-established that employers cannot simply terminate employees whose work performance is negatively impacted by disability. Rather, an employer must attempt to accommodate the employee to the point of undue hardship. But what happens when the employee fails to notify the employer of his disability? Further, what accommodation does an employer need to provide to an employee who is still within a three-month probation period? read more…

May the enforceability of your release be with you

August 10, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

We have all been faced with employees’ buyer’s remorse. They accept a severance package, sign a release, cash the severance check, and then claim that the release is unenforceable. Recently the Alberta Human Rights Commission considered this very issue in Marquardt v. Strathcona County. read more…

Court upholds just-cause termination based on misconduct discovered post-termination

July 27, 2014 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

In a recent decision, a Canadian appellate-level court confirmed that employee misconduct discovered after a without-cause termination may be relied upon by an employer in support of a later argument of just cause for termination. read more…

‘But it was due to my addiction’—when is last-minute confession too late?

June 01, 2014 - by: Kyla Stott-Jess 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

It is not uncommon for an employee to disclose an addiction only when being terminated for misconduct that may be related to the employee’s substance abuse. The employee then tries to trigger human rights protections due to his or her “disability.” A recent Alberta court decision, Bish v. Elk Valley Coal Corporation, provides a good example of when such a claim may simply be too little, too late, even under Canada’s protective human rights laws. read more…

Bonuses may be part of equation when calculating pay in lieu of notice

May 25, 2014 - by: Myriam Robichaud 0 COMMENTS

By Myriam Robichaud

Most employers in Canada understand that when terminating an employee, reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice must be provided. While this principle appears simple, determining which elements of compensation must be included in pay in lieu of notice can be complicated. read more…

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