Canada Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

Double Check those Bonus Plans!

The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc. should have all employers running to double-check and possibly amend their bonus plans.  A further case released on the same day by the...more

Employer loses wrongful dismissal case after court finds safety rules unclear

An employer has lost a wrongful dismissal case after a court found that its safety rules, which it alleged the employee violated, were unclear and not clearly-communicated. The employee worked at a solid waste facility...more

Wilson: SCC Overhauls Standard of Review?

Tax professionals who advise clients on judicial review of the CRA’s discretionary decisions should monitor developments in the standard of review in light of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Wilson v Atomic Energy...more

How should employers deal with pensions in a severance package?

HR professionals often ask us how to deal with pension issues when they structure severance packages for non-union employees. Should employees continue to earn pension benefits after termination of employment?  If so, for how...more

Bartender, fired for smoking marijuana at work, loses human rights complaint

A B.C. bartender has lost his human rights compliant after he was dismissed for smoking marijuana on shift. The bartender also served as assistant manager of the restaurant. The employer had a policy that prohibited...more

New Court Decisions Reinforce Need for Benefit Communications Policy

In my last post to this blog I extolled the virtues of a benefit communications policy for HR professionals who communicate pensions and benefits to fellow employees. I pointed out that years of benefit miscommunication has...more

Supreme Court of Canada Holds Private Federal Employers Must Have Just Cause to Dismiss Non-Managerial Employees

Part III of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) contains unjust dismissal provisions that apply to private Canadian employers subject to federal jurisdiction. Where a complaint of unjust dismissal is filed by a dismissed...more

Sit Back and Relax – Is there a Duty to Mitigate after Termination of a Fixed-Term Contract?

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently issued its decision in Howard v. Benson Group Inc. 2016 ONCA 256, relating to the termination of a fixed-term employment contract. The Plaintiff, Mr. Howard, was a Truck Shop Manager who...more

Federally Regulated Employers Need Just Cause to Terminate Non-Union Employees

In an important decision (Wilson v Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) for federally regulated employers, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the “unjust dismissal” provisions in the Canada Labour Code mean non-union employees...more

Supreme Court of Canada to Federally Regulated Employers: No “Without Cause” Dismissals Under Canada Labour Code

In a decision which returns us to what many thought was the status quo, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that, (save for exempt employees), the unjust dismissal scheme in the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) does not...more

Fired employee’s Facebook post calling company “s—hole” showed dismissal for workplace outbursts, threat was indeed appropriate

An employee who yelled and swore at a manager about a written test for a maintenance position, and a few days later took a gun out of a box in the company parking lot and “pumped it”, was fired for cause, an arbitrator has...more

Sale of a Business is Not Constructive Dismissal

In the decision 2108805 Ontario Inc. v. Boulad rendered on January 25, 2016, the Quebec Court of Appeal overruled the trial judge who had considered that the change of employer resulting from a change of ownership constituted...more

Mass Terminations—What Ontario Employers Need to Think About When Restructuring or Reducing Their Workforces

When discharging employees, it pays to be prepared. This is especially so when an employer is considering a large-scale restructuring....more

A Reference Guide for Reference Letters

One of the more confusing issues that employers deal with is what to do in the face a request for a reference letter by a departing employee. While dealing with a reference letter for a stellar employee is easy, the task...more

Ontario man fined $6,000 for illegal use of “professional engineer” title when seeking job

An Ontario man has been found guilty of three counts of violating the Professional Engineers Act by using the protected title, “P.Eng.” in a resume and in communications with a construction firm at which he was seeking...more

Limiting Liability: Incentives and Benefits on Termination of Employment

You’ve terminated an employee without cause, what do you owe them? It may be more than you think. As a starting position, employees are entitled to compensation for what they would have earned during a reasonable period...more

The Final Word? The Ontario Court of Appeal upholds an astounding 10 years of back pay and employee reinstatement

Readers of this blog may recall reading in 2014 about the Ontario Divisional Court upholding the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s order for 10 years of back pay and employee reinstatement. The decision was reached in the case...more

Reverse burden of proof sinks no-show employer: OLRB awards more than $25,000 for safety-reprisal

An employer that failed to attend a safety-reprisal hearing has been ordered to pay two employees damages of more than $25,000.00. The employees filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board claiming that...more

Best Practices for Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks in Canada

Many employers perform background checks before hiring their employees. The process could be as simple as checking an applicant’s professional credentials, education, and references, or as detailed as a criminal records check...more

Two weeks’ notice? Long-time employees may be required to give more to employers

A recent Ontario Superior Court case, Gagnon & Associates Inc. et. al. v Jesso et. al., is a reminder that both employers and employees are required to give reasonable notice of termination at the conclusion of an employment...more

A Quick Guide to the Taxation of Retiring Allowances

When an employee’s employment is terminated without cause, the employee will typically receive some form of a termination/severance payment. All or part of this termination/severance payment may be considered a “retiring...more

Fixed Term Contracts: Damages for “trouble and inconvenience”

In a recent decision, the Superior Court of Quebec held that the termination of a fixed term contract of employment constitutes a breach of contract which may allow for an award of damages for “troubles and inconveniences”...more

The Duty to Provide Reasonable Notice of Termination Cuts Both Ways

It is a relatively little-known fact to non-lawyers that just as employers are required to provide employees with reasonable notice of termination, employees are likewise required to provide employers with reasonable notice...more

Court finds termination clause purporting to limit a 17-year employee’s termination notice to the 8 week statutory minimum to be...

An Alberta court recently had the opportunity to consider the question of whether a termination clause was effective to take away an employee’s entitlement to pay in lieu of notice of termination in excess of the minimum set...more

Arbitrator rules BC employer must reinstate employees on long-term disability after non-culpable terminations

In a British Columbia arbitration, Township of Langley v. CUPE, Local 403, No: A-014/15, the arbitrator was considering a grievance concerning the non-culpable termination of three employees of the Township of Langley who had...more

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