Termination Clauses: Reading the Fine Print

Blog Post
November 29, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

In the event you are terminated, does your contract act in your best interest? Is the termination clause clear and unambiguous, and therefore enforceable? A recent case, Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited, illustrates the importance of thoroughly reviewing your employment contract, or having someone with expertise review it for you.

Just Cause: When Is It Justified?

Blog Post
October 6, 2017
Read Time: 4 minutes

Much of the work of employment lawyers involves dealing with people who have been terminated. One type of termination is for cause. In general terms, this is when the employer dismisses an employee for having done something wrong. What does this mean for the employee? And what are the obligations of the employer?

Rejected Severance Packages: To Plead or Not to Plead, That is the Question

Blog Post
August 25, 2017
Read Time: 4 minutes

A recent decision from an Ottawa judge at the Superior Court of Justice has shed light on whether severance packages offered by employers at termination can later be referred to in court pleadings. It seems that the answer will usually (but not always) be “no”.

Promotion But No New Contract? That Old Contract May Not Apply!

Blog Post
August 17, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

What happens if your responsibilities and remuneration change so dramatically over the years that the fundamental nature of your employment is no longer the same? Are you still tied to your initial employment contract, including whatever notice and severance is found within, or do your entitlements change? A legal concept that helps answer these questions is known as the “changed substratum doctrine”.

Working Notice and Limitation Periods: When Can I Sue?

Blog Post
May 11, 2017
Read Time: 3 minutes

If I am terminated with working notice and decide to work through that notice period, when can I file a claim for wrongful dismissal? A recent Ontario court case wrestled with this question, deciding that the deadline for employees to commence an action begins to run when their employer gives them “working notice.”

Do An Employer’s Financial Circumstances Affect Reasonable Notice Periods?

Blog Post
November 30, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

When an employer wants to terminate an employee without cause, it is required to do one of two things: give reasonable notice in advance of termination, or provide pay in lieu thereof [assuming the employee has no valid and enforceable employment contract]. But what happens if you are terminated because your employer is in dire financial straits? Are you entitled to less, simply because you were terminated as a cost-saving measure?

Filing A Ministry of Labour Complaint

Blog Post
August 12, 2016
Read Time: 4 minutes

A recent study conducted for the Ministry of Labour found that employees in Ontario have lost out on $28 million in unpaid wages over the last six years. And these lost wages are just the ones where the Ministry of Labour failed to collect money that was owing to employees. Combine this failure to collect with the fact that less than 0.2 per cent of employers who are guilty of monetary violations are ever prosecuted, and it becomes clear that there is a lot of money owing to Ontario employees that never makes it into their pockets. Below are four tips for filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.

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.