Not Sweating the Small Stuff Can Be Expensive

June 03, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Donovan Plomp
McCarthy Tetrault

When employees are terminated in Canada, unless they have been fired for “cause” (such as theft) employers have an obligation to provide common law “reasonable notice” of termination or pay in lieu of reasonable notice.

Unless the amount of reasonable notice is clearly set out in an employment agreement, it will be assessed in a court action after an employee has been terminated. The courts consider factors such as age, length of service, the nature of the position, and the likelihood of the employee finding reemployment in deciding how much reasonable notice to award.

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New Limits Placed on ‘Bad Faith’ Damages in Terminations

May 27, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 1 COMMENTS

by Helen Gray
McCarthy Tetrault

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal places new limits on a trial judge’s ability to award damages for conduct on the part of an employer during the termination process that is said to amount to “bad faith.”

While it’s an Ontario decision, it can be expected to have broad ramifications across Canada.

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Understand Workers’ Applications for Permanent Residence

May 27, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 2 COMMENTS

By Naseem Malikand Daniel Pugen
McCarthy Tetrault

Let’s say you are the human resources director for a Canadian-based operation with affiliates in other countries. One of your numerous responsibilities is to manage the company’s temporary foreign workers, including Americans, in Canada.

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Categories: Immigration

Supreme Court of Canada Broadens Dismissed Employee’s Duty to Minimize Damages

May 20, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 1 COMMENTS

By Rachel Ravary and Philippe Lacoursière
McCarthy Tetrault

Chalk one up for employers! In an era when the courts seem to be on a slippery slope of broadening employee rights, Canada’s highest court has given employers a break when it comes to assessing the costs of dismissing an employee without cause.

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New Defense Against Overtime Class Actions Confirmed

May 13, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

by Donovan Plomp
McCarthy Tetrault

The British Columbia Court of Appeal just issued an important decision about an employee’s right to make a statute-based overtime claim in a civil action. The decision, Macaraeg v. E Care Contact Centers Ltd., should make BC employers very happy. And it may provide a new defense to overtime pay class actions in other Canadian jurisdictions as well.

Avoiding a dangerous trap
The BC Employment Standards Act applies to most employees in British Columbia with some limited exceptions. It requires employers to pay overtime pay to employees if they are required or “directly or indirectly” allowed to work more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.

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Be Prepared If an Inspector Knocks at Your Door

May 06, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 1 COMMENTS

by Daniel Pugen of McCarthy Tetrault
and Karen Sargeant formerly with McCarthy Tetrault

In most Canadian provinces, occupational health and safety legislation provides for government inspections.

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New Top 10 Rules for Video Surveillance in Canada

April 29, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Barbara A.  McIsaac and Rachel Ravary
McCarthy Tetrault

By now, we all know that video surveillance of employees is a touchy subject and should be used only as a last resort. But when you’ve examined all of the alternatives and have come to the conclusion that no other solution will do, we can at least give you some guidance on how to do it right.

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Categories: Employment Law / Privacy

Avoiding Hiring Pitfalls in Canada

April 22, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 0 COMMENTS

By Kate McNeill
McCarthy Tetrault

We all know that once you hire an employee, you have certain legal obligations to that employee. But what about before you even hire someone?

In Canada, job applicants are entitled to certain human rights and common law protections that employers must be aware of in their hiring practices. In this Q&A, we provide answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about hiring practices in the Canadian marketplace.

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Response to last week’s article

April 21, 2008 - by: Brian Smeenk 1 COMMENTS

by Brian Smeenk
Editor – Northern Exposure

Like the hockey gag line about going to a fight only to have a hockey game break out, last week Northern Exposure was the site of shock and awe, and a good legal debate broke out.

There was a lot of interest in our post last week about a discrimination case against McDonalds by a British Columbia employee who wasn’t able to wash her hands frequently. We were surprised by all the attention it got. Some people might think employment law is dull, but sometimes it can really touch a nerve with people. It certainly inspired a heated debate online.

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Categories: Commentary

McDonald’s Fails to Accommodate Employee Unable to Wash Hands

April 15, 2008 - by: Northern Exposure 58 COMMENTS

by Daniel Pugen and Earl G. Phillips
McCarthy Tetrault

In Canada, human rights legislation provides that employers have a duty to accommodate disabled workers unless such accommodation would cause “undue hardship” on the employer.

A recent case involving McDonald’s Restaurants before the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal illustrates the high standard of accommodation expected of employers. It also shows the kinds of proactive measures employers may have to take before accommodation is considered “undue hardship.”

In the case, the tribunal found that McDonald’s improperly terminated the employment of a long-time employee. McDonald’s didn’t do enough to accommodate the employee who developed a skin condition that prevented her from working and meeting the restaurant’s hand-washing policy. read more…

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