Damages for wrongful dismissal: Who must prove what?

June 05, 2016 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

As noted in past articles here, Canadian employees can sue for lack of adequate notice of termination. Fired employees seeking damages for inadequate notice have a corresponding duty to mitigate or minimize any resulting losses. If other work is available, their losses may be minimal. Employees frequently claim a lack of available work. But who must prove what?

In a recent decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled that where lack of work is claimed, the employee must prove it. It is not up to the employer to prove the opposite. read more…

Harassment at work: Do victim’s wishes matter?

May 29, 2016 - by: Alexandra Meunier 0 COMMENTS

by Alexandra Meunier

When assessing whether behavior constitutes sexual harassment, Canadian decision-makers usually look at the situation objectively. In other words, they don’t typically put much emphasis on subjective elements, such as the perception of the victim. Recently, an arbitrator in Quebec has done just that. read more…

Healthcare workers’ longer hours don’t necessarily increase health, safety risks

May 15, 2016 - by: Rosalind Cooper 0 COMMENTS

by Rosalind H. Cooper

Most employers know that there are restrictions under employment standards legislation regarding maximum hours of work for their employees. In certain circumstances, it is possible to exceed these daily or weekly maximums. However, care must be exercised when doing so in order to avoid a breach of the employer’s duties under occupational health and safety legislation. This issue was explored in the recent Ontario decision of Durham (Regional Municipality) v. Canadian Union of Public Employees. read more…

Sale of business to smaller company doesn’t equal termination

May 08, 2016 - by: Olivier Lamoureux 0 COMMENTS

by Olivier Lamoureux

A Québec court recently ruled that there was no constructive dismissal arising from the sale of a business to a smaller third-party purchaser for whom a manager refused to work. The Quebec Court of Appeal in the Boulad case (2108805 Ontario inc. c. Boulad, 2016 QCCA 75) overturned a lower court decision that would have required the employer to pay substantial damages to a manager who didn’t want to work for the new owner. read more…

More human rights ‘frustrations’

May 01, 2016 - by: David Wong 0 COMMENTS

by David G. Wong

Traditionally, when an employee’s absenteeism was excessive and there was no reasonable prospect of  returning to work in the foreseeable future—as long as there was no contractual term providing otherwise—a Canadian employer could discharge the employee for non-culpable absenteeism or treat the employment contract as having been frustrated. This would bring the employee’s employment to an end. read more…

Sleep much? Board finds that dozing off on the job is not willful misconduct

April 24, 2016 - by: Avneet Jaswal 0 COMMENTS

by Avneet Jaswal

Can an employer terminate an employee for sleeping on the job on multiple occasions? The Ontario Labour Relations Board concluded that such behavior may give rise to just cause for dismissal. Can sleeping on the job amount to “willful misconduct” eliminating the employer’s obligation to pay statutory notice and severance amounts? Well, that depends. read more…

Quebec court upholds cause termination of employee for a single incident of theft

April 17, 2016 - by: Marie-Eve Gagnon 0 COMMENTS

by Marie-Ève Gagnon

Theft of merchandise by employees continues to be a recurring and costly problem for Canadian employers. The courts, however, do acknowledge the seriousness of the issue. Dismissal is often found to be an appropriate disciplinary response regardless of the value of the items stolen or whether the theft is repeated—unless mitigating factors are present that would justify a lesser penalty. read more…

It’s not you, it’s the economy: making difficult employment decisions during a downturn

April 10, 2016 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess and Claire Himsl

In the face of an economic downturn, some employers across Canada are being forced to tighten their belts and make hard choices about workforce downsizing. However, what may initially begin as a cost-cutting exercise can quickly turn into a legal quagmire if the process is not executed properly and with sufficient advance planning. read more…

Workers’ comp changes for post-traumatic stress disorder claims

April 03, 2016 - by: Brandon Wiebe 0 COMMENTS

by Brandon Wiebe

A second Canadian province, Manitoba, recently amended its Workers Compensation Act to create a rebuttable presumption that claims for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are work-related. But Manitoba’s law is novel in that it applies to all workers, regardless of occupation. read more…

‘You’re fired’—for watching TV too much

March 27, 2016 - by: Sophie Arseneault 0 COMMENTS

by Sophie Arseneault

Canadian employment law does not recognize “at will” employment. An employer requires “just cause” to terminate someone without severance pay. Can you have a just cause termination for a 26-year employee with a previously clean employment record? read more…

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