Saturday, 13 September 2014

Termination After Being Made the Subject of Workplace Investigation may Entitle Employee to Moral Damages

If an employee is made the prime suspect in a workplace investigation but is found to be not responsible for the harm that was the subject of the investigation, can the employer nonetheless terminate the employee’s employment on a without cause basis with impunity?

In refusing to grant summary judgment fixing the applicable notice period and dismissing the plaintiff employee’s claims for moral and punitive damages in a termination without cause case, the Honourable Justice Margaret Eberhard in the case of Brownson v. Honda of Canada Mfg., 2013 ONSC 896, leave to appeal refused 2013 ONSC 6974, held that the answer may be that no, the employer cannot terminate the employee’s employment on a without cause basis with impunity.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Location, Location, Location! What a Demographic Shift Might mean for Employers

“Location, location, location.” It is the number one rule in real estate. Simply put, the mantra of real estate agents everywhere means that identical properties sited in different places will demand different prices depending upon the desirability of the neighbourhood. But what does this have to do with employment?

In promoting a compelling opinion piece in the Toronto Star on September 6, 2014, "In complete communities, pedestrians take precedence," Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat tweeted “employers want to be near echo boomers; to attract emplmt across the city”.

Within the body of the editorial, Ms. Keesmaat noted that “Large employers like Coke and Google are moving to the core as they clamour to be near this future workforce.” Asked for evidence of the same, Ms. Keesmaat delivered.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tax Implications of Non-Competition Agreements

What are the tax implications of including a non-competition clause in an agreement for the sale of a business? Guest author Chad Saikaley, CPA, CA of the Ottawa accounting firm Ginsberg Gluzman Fage & Levitz, LLP , looks at those implications from an accountant’s perspective.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Independent Contractors and Employees on Contract – Understanding the Semantics of Ontario Employment Law

The modern English language is a powerful tool. However, it also has its challenges; synonyms, homonyms, and inexplicable exceptions to rules. (For example, try explaining to someone why the plural of moose is moose, goose is geese, and mouse is mice.) In the employment law context, the word that is most often the source of confusion and consternation is “contract.”

The purpose of this post is to look at the differences between:

  • A contractor and an independent contractor
  • Working on contract and working under a contract

Those terms often get commingled in everyday conversation, leading to incorrect assumptions and the aforementioned confusion and frustration. Therefore, as best as one can, given the limitations of the written word, here is a summary of the ways in which the law uses “contract.”

Monday, 25 August 2014

Continuity of Employment Following the Sale of a Business

”What are we doing about the employees?” That is the all-too-familiar question asked in the purchase and sale of a business. Are all the employees fired on closing? What happens if they continue working for the purchaser? Who is responsible for paying them severance?

In fact, there are a lot of questions concerning employees in the context of a purchase and sale of a business; presuming that the business has employees.

The purpose of this post is to look at some of the issues and legal implications involved in selling or buying a business, which is also an employer.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Still No Damages for Constructively Dismissed Employee

As an update to an earlier post, Employee Fired by Mistake had Duty to Return (published on this blog on September 3, 2012), on September 11, 2013, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the decision of the Honourable Justice R.A. Lococo of the Superior Court of Justice, in which the court dismissed an employee’s claim for damages following an admitted constructive dismissal.

As a result of the loss of his appeal, the dismissed employee incurred a further $7,500.00 in costs awarded against him, in addition to the $50,000.00 awarded against him following the trial. Notwithstanding the fact that the employer had admitted that it had constructively dismissed the employee!

The case concerned the duty to mitigate and whether it was reasonable for the employee to refuse to return to the employer that had fired him. The reasons for the decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario were reported at: Chevalier v. Active Tire & Auto Centre Inc., 2013 ONCA 548

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Why the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario may be the Wrong Place to Plead Your Wrongful Dismissal Case

Many people who get fired while pregnant, on maternity or disability leave assume that the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) is the logical place to turn to grieve their case. However, several recent decisions from both the HRTO itself and the Ontario courts demonstrate that that assumption may be misplaced.

While this blog has previously looked at other cases on this topic (see e.g. Human Rights Tribunal Not The Place To Ask For Severance) this post will consider a decision of the HRTO concerning an employee fired while pregnant.