Thursday, 5 August 2021

Complainant in Sexual Assault Claim Compellable as Employer’s Representative on Examinations for Discovery in Wrongful Dismissal Claim

Is it “oppressive” to compel an unwilling complainant in a sexual assault and harassment matter to be examined for discovery when he is not a party to the underlying lawsuit and when his version of events has already been made available to the plaintiff in the form of his written complaint?

In Mohotoo v Humber River Hospital, 2021 ONSC 4894 (CanLII), Master Lisa La Horey of the Ontario Superior Court held that, on the basis of binding case law, the legal answer is that it is not “oppressive.”

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Court Awards Moral Damages for Employer’s Failure to Guarantee Minimum Statutory Entitlements on Termination

Does an employer’s failure to confirm that an employee will unconditionally receive their minimum statutory entitlements on termination, if that employee rejects the employer’s “without prejudice” offer to settle their severance claim, warrant an award of moral damages?

In Russell v. The Brick Warehouse LP, 2021 ONSC 4822 (CanLII), Justice Susan Vella of the Ontario Superior Court held that it did.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

Pointe Finale! Calculation of "Payroll" for Severance Purposes Not Limited to Just Ontario: Divisional Court

Section 64(1)(b) of the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 requires an employer who severs an employment relationship with an employee to pay severance pay to the employee if: (a) the employee was employed by the employer for five years or more; and (b) the employer “has a payroll of $2.5 million or more.”

The question of how to calculate the employer’s payroll, specifically whether one is to consider the employer’s global payroll or only the employer’s Ontario-based payroll has (for some reason) continued to be a source of confusion.

In Hawkes v. Max Aicher (North America) Limited, 2021 ONSC 4290 (CanLII), the Ontario Divisional Court (Dambrot, Lederer and Favreau J.J.) has finally, hopefully, laid the question to rest.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave *Does* Oust Common Law Constructive Dismissal

Does Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c.41 oust the common law of constructive dismissal or were employees ostensibly placed on leave actually terminated?

If that question sounds familiar, it is because that is the question answered by the case of Coutinho v. Ocular Health Centre Ltd., 2021 ONSC 3076 (CanLII), about which I blogged in my post Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Does Not Oust Common Law Constructive Dismissal.

Problem is, there is a new decision, Taylor v Hanley Hospitality Inc, 2021 ONSC 3135, which reaches the opposite conclusion.

CERB Proper Deduction against Wrongful Dismissal Damages: BCSC

Are amounts received under the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) a set-off against wrongful dismissal damages?

It would appear that the answer to the question still depends on which judge you ask.

In Hogan v 1187938 B.C. Ltd., 2021 BCSC 1021 (CanLII), the Honourable Madam Justice Gerow of the British Columbia Supreme Court held such amount was a proper deduction.