Mitigation – It Doesn’t Happen In A Vacuum

Blog Post
October 14, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

Mitigating your losses after being dismissed, such as making concerted efforts to find new employment, is important if you feel that the dismissal was unjust. However, a recent case has demonstrated that contextual factors do come into play when a court is evaluating the extent to which an employee has attempted to mitigate.

The Strudwick Decision – When Employers Get What They Deserve

Blog Post
July 27, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently awarded $246,049.92 against employer of the year candidate, Applied Consumer and Clinical Evaluations Inc. In Strudwick v Applied Consumer and Clinical Evaluations Inc., the court found that the employer calculatedly tried to make a deaf employee’s workplace so intolerable that she would just quit. When she refused to quit, the employer terminated her, alleging cause.

Mitigation With One’s Former Employer – Do You Always Have To?

Blog Post
July 19, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

When is a wrongfully dismissed employee required to accept on offer of re-employment to mitigate his or her damages against a former employer? In the event of an unjust dismissal, both employees and employers have important roles to play: on the one hand, employees generally have an obligation to mitigate their damages by seeking an alternate source of income; on the other hand, employers have an obligation to compensate an unjustly dismissed employee for his or her losses due to lack of notice and/or severance.

Arbitrators and Human Rights Tribunals Taking Their Lead From Courts?

Blog Post
July 18, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

There used to be a debate about levels of damages in human rights cases. Often the unsuccessful party would challenge the decision in a human rights case in court in the hopes that damages awards would be reduced. Parties are going to have to rethink that strategy in light of the ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Strudwick v. Applied Consumer and Clinical Evaluations.

Wilson v. Atomic Energy – Supreme Court Drops Atomic Bomb on Unjust Dismissal Regime

Blog Post
July 15, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

In Ontario, as in most provinces, an employee can be terminated without cause so long as they are provided with and/or paid the appropriate amount of notice and severance, either in accordance with their employment contract or at common law (and, at a minimum, those sums pursuant to the Employment Standards Act). In comparison, the Supreme Court of Canada has finally confirmed in the seminal case of Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (‘Wilson’), released yesterday, that federal employees may not be dismissed without cause.

Maximizing Severance Settlements Through Tax Avoidance

Blog Post
July 12, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

More often than not, dismissed employees and their former employers disagree on the magnitude of the severance package offered. The point of this post is to canvas how settlement dollars can be stretched to maximize the value of the severance package. The theme that runs through all of the options discussed below is tax avoidance.

Statistically Significant Evidence – A Cause for Success

Blog Post
June 30, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

In British Columbia (Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal) v. Fraser Health Authority, seven technicians at a single hospital laboratory were diagnosed with breast cancer. Each of them applied for compensation under British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act (‘the Act’) on the basis that the cancer was an occupational disease. The payment of benefits under the Act is conditional upon the employment having been of ‘causative significance’ in the development of the worker’s illness.

Changes to EI for Maternity Benefits

Blog Post
June 23, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

Bill C-243 seeks to amend the Employment Insurance Act in order to allow a mother to begin using her maternity benefits 15 weeks before the week in which she expects to be off of work if she is unable to perform the duties of her regular employment and her employer is unable to modify her job functions or reassign her to another job. The motivation behind the bill was to allow a mother to be off work early if her current job functions may pose a risk to her health.