Canada Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

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

Early Termination of Fixed Term Contract Results in Employee Windfall (Or the Dangers of Dubious Drafting)

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently awarded an employee, whose fixed-term contract was terminated on a without cause basis twenty-three months into a five-year term, damages reflecting the balance of his remuneration under...more

Employee stopped production line “to be difficult”, not due to safety issue: work refusal not justified

An employee who shut down a production line allegedly because two other employees were fighting, was not exercising a proper work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has...more

Miscarriage is a Disability

In a recent interim decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, adjudicator Jennifer Scott found that miscarriage could constitute a “disability”.  The door was also left open for employees terminated due to miscarriage to...more

Labour and Employment Criminal Background Checks

In an increasingly competitive business environment, it is perhaps more important than ever for employers to exercise prudence and caution in hiring and maintaining their workforce. Background checks, including criminal...more

Dependent Contractors Awarded 26 Months’ Reasonable Notice

Dependent contractors are becoming an increasing portion of the working population, and an Ontario court recently confirmed that protections available to them are at the top end of the scale. In the case of Keenan v....more

Work refusal was motivated by employee’s dislike of work assignment, not by safety: when full disciplinary record considered,...

An arbitrator has upheld the dismissal of an employee who tried to use the Occupational Health and Safety Act’s work refusal provisions to avoid undesired work assignments. The employee worked for the City of Hamilton...more

Firing after employee’s “generalized threat to get legal advice” was not retaliatory

An employee who was fired approximately one month after he told his employer that he “might get legal help” was not the victim of a reprisal, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided. Although the case was filed under...more

The Final Word on Dependent Contractors

I wrote last year about the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in the case of Keenan v. Canac Kitchens (a link to same can be found here: http://www.employmentandlabour.com/?s=Canac). Last week the Ontario Court...more

“Presumptive remedy” for retaliatory discharge under OHSA is reinstatement of employee, OLRB states

Where an employer fires an employee for raising safety concerns, the employee will generally be entitled to reinstatement, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has stated. The case involved a restaurant employee who sent...more

Terminating for Financial Reasons? Don’t Expect the Courts to Help You Out

Employers who undertake reductions in force due to financial difficulties should not count on employee notice periods being reduced as a result of the financial troubles.  This point was recently emphasized by the Ontario...more

Legal Trends: Employment & Labour

In the past year, the media and governments across Canada have paid greater attention to workplace discrimination and harassment. In Ontario, for example, the government introduced Bill 132, Sexual Violence and Harassment...more

Police Records Checks Reform Act, 2015

On December 1, 2015, Ontario passed the Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015, (the “Act”) which will have concrete implications for the ways in which employers conduct criminal background checks, and the information that...more

“I guess I’d have to kill you” remark could not reasonably have been interpreted as a “viable threat”: fired worker entitled to...

A worker’s comment that “I guess I’d have to kill you” was clearly inappropriate but did not constitute wilful misconduct under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has held. The case...more

Canada: Court Orders Punitive Damages for An Employer’s Willful Mischaracterization of the Basis of a Termination

A recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Gordon v. Altus Group Ltd., serves as a reminder that employers should not exaggerate facts when asserting a defense of “just cause” termination....more

Liquidated Damages Clause in Employment Contract Backfires on Quebec Employer

Under article 2091 of the Civil Code of Quebec (the “C.C.Q.”), employers can terminate employment contracts of indeterminate length so long as the employee is given reasonable notice or an indemnity in lieu of reasonable...more

Determining Reasonable Notice: Is Character of Employment a Less Important Factor?

As an employer, when terminating an employee without just cause, it is important to have some sense of the reasonable notice period a court might award in the circumstances in order to prepare an appropriate severance offer....more

When is an Employee’s Disability a Factor in his Dismissal?

On June 30, 2015, the Court of Appeal of Alberta released its decision in Stewart v Elk Valley Coal Corporation, 2015 ABCA 225 (“Stewart”) and clarifying what constitutes discrimination. In Stewart, the employer...more

At Will? What’s That?

Did you know that employees in most countries outside the United States have a contractual right to continued employment, whether or not they have written contract? If an employer does not provide an employee with a written...more

The Court Weighs In: Termination for Social Media Misconduct

Over a decade had passed since Ellen Simonetti, dubbed the “Queen of the Sky” was fired by Delta Air Lines after her infamous “Diary of a Dysfunctional Flight Attendant” blog. Simonetti wasn’t fired simply for blogging about...more

Canada Labour Code Does not Grant Non-Unionized Employees a "Right to the Job"

In Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, 2015 FCA 17 ("Wilson"), the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) made a game-changing decision when they unanimously found that without-cause dismissals of non-unionized employees are...more

Whistleblowing: An Employer’s Guide To Global Compliance

In This Issue: - Foreword - A Summary Across Five Continents - Law and Sanctions - The Legislative Framework: Whistleblower Protections Across the Globe - Global Differences: The Cultural...more

Canadian Employment News Series - June 2015

Employees and Independent Contractors: The Changing Nature of Employment - Organizations are increasingly retaining the services of individual contractors rather than hiring employees in order to increase the...more

Competing After Employment (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, Jawbone, a fitness tracking hardware and software maker, sued its arch-rival Fitbit, alleging that Fitbit lured its employees away to obtain access Jawbone’s confidential information and product plans. How...more

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