Ontario labor and employment laws to undergo significant amendments

June 13, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Sophie Arseneault and Christian Paquette

In Canada’s most populous province, labor and employment matters are governed by two fundamental statutes: the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Ontario Labour Relations Act (LRA). The ESA sets out minimum rights and obligations of employers and employees in the province. The LRA governs a host of matters regarding labor relations from certification and collective bargaining to unfair labor practices and decertification.

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Probationary clauses: Devil is in the details

May 01, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by J. Alexandra MacCarthy

In Canada, the legal effect of a probationary clause in an employment contract can be unclear depending upon the facts of the particular case. The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently addressed probationary clauses in employment contracts in Ly v. British Columbia (Interior Health Authority), 2017 BCSC 42.

The plaintiff (PY) was hired by the Interior Health Authority (IHA) as the manager of quality and patient safety and client experience and moved from Vancouver to Kamloops for the position. The offer of employment contained the following clause: read more…

To enforce or not to enforce ESA-only termination clauses: That is the question!

April 16, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Sophie Arseneault

Employers celebrated the January 2017 decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Cook v. Hatch upholding a termination clause that did not speak to statutory severance pay or the requirement to maintain health benefits during the statutory notice period. A month later, employers were left scratching their heads once again when the Court of Appeal for Ontario (ONCA) responded with its decision in Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd, 2017 ONCA 158, overturning a motion judge’s ruling refusing to invalidate a very similar provision.

Cook v. Hatch

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Seasonal employee not bound by noncompetition clause

March 26, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Matthew Larsen

A British Columbia court recently explored a novel issue – whether a noncompetition clause is enforceable against a seasonal employee.

Facts

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Canadian Corporate Directors’ Liability for Unpaid Wages in a Unionized Environment

March 14, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Kevin O’Neill

Employment standards acts (ESAs) across Canada impose certain personal liabilities on directors or officers regarding unpaid wages of a company. The potential amounts and the circumstances in which such personal liability may arise vary from one jurisdiction to another.

In British Columbia (BC), the ESA imposes liability on directors or officers for up to two months of unpaid wages for each affected employee. However, a recent BC Employment Standards Tribunal (EST) decision indicates that officers and directors of unionized employers may have a sound defense against liability for awards issued against their corporation.

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Do Age-Based Early Retirement Programs Violate Human Rights Code?

May 10, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Ralph Nero and Ida Martin

Are pension plans that provide age-based early retirement programs discriminatory? In a decision that may be important across Canada, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has recently answered no.

In Kovacs v. Arcelor Mittal Montreal, Kovacs argued that he had been discriminated against on the basis of his age by not being able to participate in the early retirement program being offered by the employer, Arcelor.

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Does Temporary Layoff Result in Right to Severance Pay?

December 21, 2009 0 COMMENTS

By Derek Knoechel

In early 2008, the owner of a dental practice, having recently purchased the business, faced some difficult choices. Given what appeared to be a temporary downturn in revenues, the owners decided on a temporary layoff.

While permitted by employment standards laws, the employer in the recent case of Besse v. Dr. A.S. Machner Inc. found out that the courts considered the layoff to amount to a termination of employment. The employment standards law didn’t provide a right to impose a temporary layoff – at least not without triggering all the severance rights the courts normally accord terminated employees.

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