Before you board a plane to Canada: Don’t forget your eTA … but no enforcement yet

March 20, 2016 - by: Gilda Villaran 2 COMMENTS

by Gilda Villaran

As of March 15, many travelers were supposed to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before flying to Canada. However, according to a communication issued by Immigration Canada on March 3, while travelers are still expected to apply for an eTA (where one is required), the obligation to actually produce the eTA before flying to Canada will not be enforced until later in 2016.  3d Canada airport board and travel suitcases on white backgroun read more…

Last chance to draft your last chance agreement

March 13, 2016 - by: Mohamed Badreddine 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

Last chance agreements—what are they? How do they work? As we have indicated before, an employer and employee agree that the employee may remain employed provided that he or she complies with specific conditions. If the employee later breaches the conditions, he or she is immediately dismissed. read more…

Court rules employees have obligation to give notice of resignation

February 28, 2016 - by: Stefan Kimpton 0 COMMENTS

by Stefan Kimpton

Most Canadian employers know about their obligations to provide notice or payment instead of notice to employees when terminating their employment without cause. But what about employees? Do they also have to provide their employers with reasonable notice of their intention to quit their job? What happens if a key employee leaves suddenly without providing notice? Those issues were explored in the recent decision of Gagnon & Associates Inc. et al. v. Jesso et al., 2016 ONSC 209. read more…

Canadian corporate directors may be liable for unpaid wages

February 21, 2016 - by: Louise Bechamp 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Bechamp

A recent arbitration decision out of the province of Quebec (available in French only) involving the director of a bankrupt corporation serves as a reminder that directors can be personally liable for unpaid employee wages, notice of termination, and vacation pay. read more…

Workplace health through a new lens: steps to promote psychological well-being

February 14, 2016 - by: Cathy Chandler 0 COMMENTS

by Cathy Chandler

The workplace can play an essential role in helping individuals maintain positive mental health. However, it also can be a stressful environment that may contribute to mental health issues and illness. In a 2009 study three out of 10 Canadian employees reported that their work environments were not psychologically safe or healthy. Mental health is an important occupational health and safety issue, but many organizations have no system or process in place to address workplace psychological risks and stressors.

Employers’ legal obligations

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‘Poor’ employer’s termination obligation not reduced

February 07, 2016 - by: Hannah Roskey 0 COMMENTS

by Hannah Roskey

There has been some controversy in Canadian law on the issue of whether the financial circumstances of the employer should play a role in deciding what constitutes reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice. Since multiple factors go into deciding what’s reasonable in many circumstances, why not this one?

This controversy was recently resolved by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Michela v. St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School. The court overturned a lower court ruling that had reduced the normal, reasonable notice period because of the poor financial position of the employer that had to terminate the employees. The appeal court found that this was not a relevant factor.

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Project manager sentenced to 3.5-year jail term in Metron swing stage collapse

January 31, 2016 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Norm Keith, Christina Hall, and Shane Todd

“… [A] significant term of imprisonment is necessary to reflect the terrible consequences of the offences and to make it unequivocally clear that persons in positions of authority in potentially dangerous workplaces have a serious obligation to take all reasonable steps to ensure that those who arrive for work in the morning will make it safely back to their homes and families …” – R. v Vadim Kazenelson, 2016 ONSC 25 (CanLII), para. 45

These scathing words were written by Justice MacDonnell in the January 11, 2016, sentencing decision in R. v Vadim Kazenelson. In this decision, Kazenelson, a construction project manager, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for five convictions of criminal negligence relating to the collapse of a swing stage that led to the death of four construction workers in Ontario. Kazenelson had earlier been found guilty of committing these offenses following a trial. read more…

An abbreviated case for cause

January 24, 2016 - by: Keri Bennett 0 COMMENTS

by Keri Bennett

We all know litigation is expensive. That’s particularly true when an employer seeks to justify a for-cause termination. But there may be an alternative to protracted litigation. In Cotter v. Point Grey Golf and Country Club, the British Columbia Supreme Court proceeded in an abbreviated way. It recently allowed a for-cause termination matter to proceed by a short summary trial, saving the employer thousands of dollars in legal fees. And the result was great, too. The court confirmed that the employer had cause to terminate. read more…

Investigations by lawyers: Privileged, or not privileged, that is the question

January 10, 2016 - by: Monique Orieux 0 COMMENTS

by Monique Orieux

In Canada, an employer may retain a lawyer to conduct a workplace investigation, particularly where the issue under investigation is of a sensitive nature. One reason for doing so is to attempt to keep the investigator’s notes, supporting documents, and final report from being disclosed to a third party as privileged. However, privilege is not a guarantee.

In two preliminary arbitration decisions from last year—one from Ontario and one from British Columbia—employers were ordered to disclose the investigating lawyer’s report and supporting documents to the union. These decisions illustrate the importance of taking care to preserve solicitor-client and/or litigation privilege at the time a lawyer-investigator is retained, during the investigation process, and thereafter. read more…

Disability benefits claimant abandoned job

January 03, 2016 - by: Shane Todd 0 COMMENTS

by Shane Todd

Disability claims management is never easy. It is particularly difficult when employees refuse to provide enough medical information to substantiate their absence and entitlement to benefits, while also refusing to return to work. The decision in Betts v. IBM Canada Ltd., 2015 ONSC 5298, provides guidance to employers dealing with such cases. It confirms that failing to comply with the terms of a disability plan or to return to work may constitute job abandonment. read more…

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