Canada Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

Ontario Court Rules that ESA Temporary Layoff may still Result in Constructive Dismissal

An Ontario Court has ruled in Bevilacqua v Gracious Living Corporation, 2016 ONSC 4127 that even in cases where an employer has complied with the temporary layoff provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “Act”),...more

“Competent supervisor” obligation relates to competence in safety, not in performance management: OLRB dismisses OHSA retaliation...

A laid-off worker’s safety-retaliation complaint under the Occupational Health and Safety Act has been dismissed because it was really a complaint about management’s assessment of his performance – not about safety....more

Persistent “sexual annoyance” of five female coworkers gets employee fired for cause, despite late reporting of incidents

A shelter support worker’s persistent pattern of sexual comments to five female coworkers justified his dismissal for cause, despite the coworkers’ failure to promptly report the incidents, a labour arbitrator has decided....more

A Rose by Any Other Name is Not as Sweet: When a Non-Solicit is Actually a Non-Compete

The Ontario Court of Appeal has held that the words “accept business”, in what the employer intended to be a non-solicitation clause, served to restrict competition and is therefore not merely a non-solicitation...more

High school machine shop teacher loses work refusal case

A machine shop teacher’s work refusal was not justified, an appeals tribunal has decided, given that the teacher had the ability to manage the class environment to ensure safety. The teacher refused to teach the class if...more

Records Of Employment – Not Just For Terminations

The end of summer is (unfortunately) just around the corner, which for many employers means saying goodbye to student employees and seasonal workers. Most employers know that they need to complete a record of employment (ROE)...more

Post-dismissal doctor’s report was relevant: disabled employee reinstated for further consideration of possible accommodation,...

An employee whose medical condition had improved both before and after termination has been reinstated for further consideration of possible accommodations, after an arbitrator relied on a doctor’s assessment done after...more

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

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