Federal Court Broadens Family Status Rights

May 15, 2014
Blog Post

Employers must accommodate employees with family obligations. Last week, in a case called Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone, the Federal Court of Appeal gave us a clear set of rules to decide when employees have a right to that accommodation and just how far employers must go.

Time to Take Another Look at your Employment Agreements?

May 8, 2014
Blog Post
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Think that ESA termination clause in your contract is valid because a lawyer prepared it a few years ago? As the law develops, doing what you always did will likely no longer be good enough. Standard employment agreements that have been in use for some time should be reviewed and considered in light of legal developments.

Summary Judgment Strikes Again!

May 1, 2014
Blog Post

On April 17, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released another interesting summary judgment in the employment context, Gregory Smith v. Diversity Technologies Corporation. This time, the case involved an employee dismissed for insubordination. It provides another example of the courts’ willingness to grant summary judgments in the employment context, even in cases where the documentary evidence is arguably incomplete and credibility issues are involved.

Violating Human Rights can Increase the Cost of Termination

April 24, 2014
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A recent Ontario Superior Court Decision sheds some light on awarding damages for human rights infringement by an employer in the context of a termination. Section 46.1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code is now a little clearer with the decision of Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods Inc.

To Sign or Not to Sign – That is the Question!

April 17, 2014
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Whether you are asked to sign your first employment agreement with a new employer, or an amended or new agreement with the same employer, sufficient consideration, which can be anything of value, is required.

Introducing our New Workplace Matters Online Magazine!

April 11, 2014
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Our Employment Law Group is pleased and excited to introduce our new online Workplace Matters magazine on Flipboard. The magazine is a companion to our blog, and is filled with information and practical insights on workplace issues for employees and employers.

Employee Required to Give Notice when Leaving Job

April 3, 2014
Blog Post

It is not uncommon for employment contracts to have set notice periods for when an employer terminates an employee, but increasingly there are also requirements for an employee to give the employer notice when the employee resigns. In a recent decision, courts have demonstrated that those clauses are enforceable, so employees should be careful to ensure they are aware of what is required of them when resigning.

Summary Judgment: What’s Next for Employment Law?

March 24, 2014
Blog Post

Following up on last week’s post about a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, in which the Court made effective use of summary judgment on a wrongful dismissal claim, this post takes a more in depth look at the use of summary judgment motions as a useful litigation tool in employment law cases and other matters following the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Hryniak v. Mauldin.

Facebook Mistake causes Settlement to Evaporate

March 13, 2014
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In virtually every settlement of any complaint, lawsuit or proceeding, the employer always requests a confidentiality provision. The clause generally requires that employee keep the fact of and terms of the settlement confidential. The clause will usually only allow the employees to advise their spouse, immediate family and/or their financial advisors of the settlement on the condition that those individuals keep the terms confidential. While there is a normal desire on the part of employees to advise their family members and friends of any settlement (particularly after a lengthy legal battle), it’s critical that employees understand their obligations as they pertain to confidentiality before speaking to anyone, and ensure those obligations are respected.

Summarily Dismissed: Court Makes Good Use of Summary Judgment in the Employment Context

February 27, 2014
Blog Post

A recent Court of Appeal for Ontario decision, Bernier v. Nygard International Partnership, which was released in late 2013, was an unsuccessful appeal of a summary judgment on wrongful dismissal claim. This outcome was a positive result for the employee and a good use of a summary judgment under Rule 20 in the employment context. The case is also a reminder that – in the absence of clear contractual language to the contrary – a dismissed employee is entitled to bonuses that would have been earned during his or her reasonable notice period.