Thursday, 31 December 2020

Top Three Cases of Importance to Ontario Employment Law - 2020 Edition

Twenty. Twenty. The year of 366 days, countless regulations and public health measures, myriad challenges and changes, but no Olympic games, and very few judicial decisions.

Since 2012, I have posted what I consider to be the “Top Five Cases of Importance to Ontario Employment Law:”

2020 being what it is – different – I am changing it up. This year, I am only posting the Top Three Decisions of Importance to Ontario Employment Law.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Mandatory Covid Testing Reasonable Exercise of Management Rights

Is an employer policy requiring bi-weekly testing for COVID-19 a reasonable exercise of management rights, or is such a policy an unreasonable infringement on the workers’ rights?

In Caressant Care Nursing & Retirement Homes and Christian Labour Association of Canada (Covid Testing Grievance), Labour Arbitrator Dana Randall found that such a policy was reasonable.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Failure to Follow Covid-19 Directions Cause for Termination

Is an employee’s failure (or blatant refusal) to follow an employer’s directions to protect public health – during a global pandemic – cause for termination of employment?

In Garda Security Screening Inc. v. IAM, District 140 (Shoker Grievance), [2020] O.L.A.A. No. 162, Labour Arbitrator M. Brian Keller had no problem finding that it was.

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Dismissed “Vice President” Awarded Just Two Months Pay in Lieu of Notice – Despite Title, COVID-19 Pandemic

Is the title “Vice President” sufficient to move the needle in the calculation of reasonable notice?

In George v. Laurentian Bank Securities Inc., 2020 ONSC 5415 (CanLII), counsel for the dismissed employee urged the court to find that there is a presumption at common law that senior management or executives who are wrongfully dismissed are entitled to a minimum of 12 months’ notice irrespective of the length of service. He cited Mulrooney v Terra Nova Brokers Ltd., CanLII 3970 (NL CA), Felice v. Cardinal Health Canada Inc. 2014 ONSC 1190 (CanLII) and Lovely v. Prestige travel Ltd., 2013 ABQB 467 (CanLII), for this proposition.

For reasons given and summarized below, the Honourable Madam Justice Susan Vella of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice disagreed – awarding only two months’ pay in lieu of reasonable notice or $11,359.98 gross of taxation.

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Refusing to Apologize for Inappropriate Comments Not Cause for Dismissal

Is refusing to apologize to a co-worker, after a company’s finding of your having made inappropriate comments to that co-worker cause for termination? Does it matter if, at the time the direction to apologize was made, the company elected not to terminate your employment at all (let alone for cause?)

In Hucsko v. A.O. Smith Enterprises, 2020 ONSC 1346 (CanLII), the Honourable Mr. Justice G.E. Taylor of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that an employer was not justified in summarily ending the employment relationship because the employee refused to apologize (after seeking legal advice) and could not use the previous findings concerning inappropriate comments to later justify the termination.