Double dipping: Can employees get severance plus pension or disability benefits upon termination?

September 11, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Julie Robinson

Employees in Canada are usually entitled to receive reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice unless fired for cause. But if the employees receive pension or sick leave payments during the notice period, are they entitled to both their regular salary in lieu of notice and such pension or sick leave payments? Should the latter amounts be deducted from the salary otherwise owed by the employer in respect of the notice period?

Double recovery?

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More human rights ‘frustrations’

May 01, 2016 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…

Zero tolerance for stalking on company time

August 30, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Chuck Harrison

A single incident of misconduct can still justify the termination of a unionized employee’s employment. So ruled a labor arbitrator in British Columbia recently. In Fortis Energy Inc., (February 16, 2015) the employee had engaged in an incident of stalking and intimidation of his wife’s supervisor. Compounding his offense, he did this during his working hours and while driving his employer’s vehicle.

After the company fired the employee, his union filed a grievance. While conceding that the incident was deserving of serious discipline, the union argued that the grievor should not have been fired. His long service and his confession with respect to the incident should allow him to preserve his employment. read more…

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

December 28, 2014 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…

A face for radio? Employment law lessons from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal

December 07, 2014 1 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

Over the last month, the Canadian news media has devoted significant time to covering the Jian Ghomeshi scandal. Aside from the celebrity gossip factor, the story has had such staying power because it touches on so many controversial issues—BDSM (Bondage & Discipline / Domination & Submission / Sadism & Masochism), sexual consent, victim credibility, privacy concerns, power politics, criminal charges—the list is long. In addition (and more importantly for employers) the Ghomeshi story began as a story about the end of an employee’s employment. read more…

Retaliation against unreasonable discrimination complaint can cost you

November 23, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Kevin O’Neill, Q.C.

How the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently handled a retaliation complaint—where the employee was found to be not credible and unreasonable—should give employers pause. read more…

Will the abolishment of mandatory retirement result in longer notice periods?

May 11, 2014 3 COMMENTS

By Ralph N. Nero and Nicole R. Singh

You’re about to terminate an employee’s employment without cause. He’s been with you for 30 years, earns $100,000, has a middle management position, and is 69 years old. He could retire with a full pension. Surely you don’t have to provide him with a severance package? Absolutely, say Canadian courts. read more…

Objective medical proof not necessary for accommodation duties to arise

November 10, 2013 1 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

Under human rights legislation across the country, Canadian employers have a general duty to accommodate employees who are unable to perform their work for a period of time because of illness or disability to the point of undue hardship.

This may require an employer to grant an employee a leave of absence from the workplace. But what if the employee doesn’t provide medical documentation to justify such an absence; surely you could deny the leave? Not necessarily, according to an Ontario arbitrator in TRW Canada Ltd. and TPEA (Lockhart). read more…

Mood problem or mental disorder? When can employers discipline?

May 12, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

Employers in Canada can’t discriminate against employees based on mental disabilities. But the broad interpretation that courts and arbitration boards frequently apply to human rights laws often makes it difficult to know where the boundaries of “mental disability” lie.

In a recent arbitration decision in Ontario, Windsor (City) and WPFFA (Elliot), the arbitrator found that an employee’s mood problems and stress issues weren’t classifiable as mental disorders. He didn’t qualify as having a mental health disability requiring accommodation. read more…

Punitive damages awards increasing in Canadian employment cases

March 31, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By David McDonald

In wrongful dismissal cases in Canada, punitive damages awards are available only in exceptional situations. That’s what the Supreme Court of Canada said in 2008 in Honda Canada v. Keays. The employer’s conduct in the course of termination must be proven to be harsh, vindictive, reprehensible, and malicious. Despite this high threshold, a number of recent trial decisions show how Canadian courts are becoming more open to providing employees with punitive damages awards. read more…

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