Monday, 15 October 2018

Court Invalidates Working Notice Period – Qualitative Component Absent

It is a well-known fact that employers must provide their employees with “reasonable notice” of the termination of their employment. But, is there a qualitative component as to what is “reasonable”, in addition to a quantitative component?

In the case of Wood v. CTS of Canada Co., 2017 ONSC 5695, the Honourable Justice John R. Sproat, ruled that there was. Later, and for reasons reported as Wood v. CTS of Canada Co., 2018 ONCA 758, the Court of Appeal for Ontario agreed that not all notice periods are created equal.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Court Says New Zealand Lamb Company’s Termination Clause Just Plain Baaa-d

Given all the other noise about what it takes to make a contractual termination clause legally binding, one can be forgiven for overlooking the most basic rule: The language used must be clear.

The contractual termination clause considered in the case of McMichael v The New Zealand & Australian Lamb Company, 2018 ONSC 5422 (CanLII), about which I recently blogged for other reasons in my post, Choice of Law Provisions: Application of the Ontario Employment Standards Act to International Employees, clearly demonstrates this most basic of rules.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Choice of Law Provisions: Application of the Ontario Employment Standards Act to International Employees

Can an employer and employee agree by contract that the laws of Ontario, Canada will apply to terms of their employment relationship, even if: (a) the employee works and is physically situated in in Los Angeles, California; and (b) the company is a New Jersey company with its head office in the State of Connecticut?

If the answer to that question is “yes”, do / can the employment standards set out in the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 apply to such an employee?

Those were some of the questions put to the Honourable Justice James F. Diamond of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the case of McMichael v The New Zealand & Australian Lamb Company, 2018 ONSC 5422 (CanLII).

Monday, 10 September 2018

Today’s Tip for Making a Termination Clause Legally Binding: KISS

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An employer attempts to limit, by employing a contractual termination clause, its obligation to provide notice of termination to no more than the statutory minimum amount prescribed by the provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and the employee alleges that such clause is void ab initio because it violates the strictures of such statute. In Burton v. Aronovitch McCauley Rollo LLP, 2018 ONSC 3018 (CanLII) the Ontario Superior Court of Justice once again had reason to examine such arguments.

In this case, however, the court considered all of the earlier decisions in Roden, Wood, and Nemeth.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Changing One’s Mind about Retirement

May an employee who has resigned her position of employment by way of a notice of retirement later rescind her written notice of retirement? If so, under what conditions may she do so?

Those were the questions answered by the Honourable Justice Mark L. Edwards of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in English v. Manulife Financial Corporation, 2018 ONSC 5135 (CanLII)

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Assessment of Damages in Sexual Assault Cases

What is a reasonable assessment of damages in a civil case of sexual assault? Is the fact that a perpetrator of sexual assault has not been criminally punished a relevant factor in the decision to award punitive damages?

In Zando v. Ali, 2018 ONCA 680 (CanLII), Ontario’s top court adopted the framework for determining damages in a civil sexual battery or assault cases described in Nova Scotia (Attorney General) v. B.M.G., 2007 NSCA 120 (CanLII), 260 N.S.R. (2d) 257, per Cromwell J.A. (as he then was), and affirmed a lower court’s award of $200,000, made up of general damages of $175,000 and punitive damages of $25,000.

Friday, 3 August 2018

Receipt of LTD Evidence of Frustration

Is the continued receipt of long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits evidence that one’s contract of employment has become legally “frustrated”? In the case of Roskaft v. RONA Inc., 2018 ONSC 2934 (CanLII) the Honourable Justice Andra Pollak said yes.