Saturday, 30 November 2013

The High Price of Free Employment Law Advice

A frequent question asked of this Ottawa employment lawyer is "how much does it cost to retain an employment lawyer?" While the true answer is "it depends," often an equally true answer is "a lot less than not retaining one."

Demonstrating that sometimes the adage 'you get what you pay for' is true is the story in the Toronto Star of two employees suing the Ontario Ministry of Labour ('the Labour Board') after receiving some free employment information about their rights following termination.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Benefits for Sick Employees

There are few good reasons to find oneself suddenly unemployed. However, of all the reasons to find oneself suddenly unemployed, the worst must be because one is sick.

This post will look at how to replace (at least in part) the income stream lost when an employee must focus his or her efforts on, and devote his or her time to, getting better rather than working.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wrongful Dismissal Damages Carry Punitive Elements: ONCA

Ask most Ontario employment lawyers what the purpose behind reasonable notice is and the answer that you are likely to receive is that it is intended to afford a dismissed employee the opportunity to go from one job to another. Indeed, the calculation of reasonable notice, at least as I always understood it, is the period of time it should take an employee to find new work following dismissal.

So with those comments in mind, I was somewhat shocked when I read the Court of Appeal for Ontario writing that wrongful dismissal damages have a "punitive element" to them.

The question for readers of this blog is: did the Court of Appeal get it right?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

ONCA Upholds 15-Day Termination Provision - Important Lessons for the Suddenly Unemployed

In a decision that still leaves this employment lawyer scratching his head, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that a termination provision that permitted an employment agreement to be terminated on just 15 days' notice was valid and enforceable.

In its appeal book endorsement in Musoni v. Logitek Technology Ltd., 2013 ONCA 622, the Court of Appeal held:
The employment contract between the appellant and the respondent was clear in providing for 15 days’ notice in order to terminate. The appellant was given pay in lieu of notice with accordance with the agreement, as found by Morgan J. We see no error in Morgan J.’s conclusions. The appeal is therefore dismissed with costs fixed at $3,500 inclusive of disbursements and HST.
The above was the entirety of the Court of Appeal's decision. Such a short decision left this author wondering what more could be gleaned from the trial decision. A review of that decision left this author upset that the plaintiff employee had not sought (or followed) professional legal advice.