Sunday, 9 February 2014

Proving Wrongful Dismissal Damages

In order to receive an award of wrongful dismissal damages, a dismissed employee must prove that he or she suffered damages as a result of his or her dismissal from employment. While that statement of law may seem simple and straightforward, it was the primary reason the Ontario Divisional Court set aside a $21,475 Small Claims judgment in a recent decision: Garcia v. 1162540 Ontario Inc., 2013 ONSC 6574 (CanLII)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Opinion: It's Time for Service Canada to Pay Legal Fees

If Service Canada wants its money back from wrongfully dismissed employees, then it should pay legal fees. At least, that's my opinion.

As is explained in this blog’s post E.I. E.I. Oh!, pursuant to the provisions of the Employment Insurance Act (sections 45 and 46 in particular,) if a wrongfully dismissed employee receives EI benefits and later receives money as compensation for wrongful dismissal, then that employee can have an obligation to repay Service Canada the amount received in EI. Essentially, two things happen: (1) legally, Service Canada’s interest becomes “subrogated” to that of the wrongfully dismissed employee; and (2) the employee chases his or her former employer for money that he or she may never actually receive.

While I appreciate that an employee should not be permitted to ‘double dip,’ i.e. receive wages and EI benefits at the same time, something seems amiss when it’s the employee taking all the risk and footing the bill for legal fees. There has got to be a more equitable way.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How the Law Blog for the Suddenly Unemployed became Labour Pains

On January 29, 2013, the law blog for the suddenly unemployed was re-branded “Labour Pains: an employment law blog for employers and employees.” For those who are interested and for those who will permit me a bit of self-indulgence, here are the hows and whys behind the name change.