Sunday, 12 September 2021

Ottawa Businesses and Organizations Legally Required to Establish COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Is my business legally required to have a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy?

In Ontario, the answer unfortunately depends on where you are located. Let me explain.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Employees Can Sue for Constructive Dismissal Caused by Chronic Mental Stress: ON Div Ct

Can an employee sue for constructive dismissal if the cause of the employment relationship break down is that the employee was subjected to chronic workplace harassment resulting in injuries otherwise compensable under the WSIB regime?

In a well-reasoned, no-nonsense decision, Morningstar v. WSIAT, 2021 ONSC 5576 (CanLII), the Ontario Divisional Court (Sachs, Backhouse and Kurke JJ.) overturned two earlier decisions of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (the “WSIAT”), about which I blogged in my post Employees Cannot Sue for Constructive Dismissal Caused by Chronic Mental Stress: WSIAT, and held that one can.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

It's good to be home.


On April 1, 2019, I published a post to this blog titled “Hi. I have some news.” In that post I announced that, “As of April 1, 2019, I am no longer practicing in private practice. I have joined Canopy Growth Corporation in the position of Director, Legal (Litigation and Employment).”

Given the date of April 1, many people assumed I was joking. Many assumed my post was an elaborate April Fools Day prank. Several commented there was “no way” I would ever leave private practice.

That announcement was not an April Fools Day prank. For the past nearly two and a half years I have been employed by one of the most dynamic and fast-moving corporations in Canada. It has been a whirlwind and I am grateful for the experience in ways best described in person.

But, those who believed there was no way I could leave private practice weren’t entirely wrong either.

And so it is with mixed emotion, at least one of which is excitement, that I am pleased to announce that effective Tuesday, September 7, 2021, I will be returning to private practice with Kelly Santini LLP in Ottawa.

My practice will continue to focus on employment law, including strategic advisor to employers, and litigation for all parties with an emphasis on wrongful dismissal, workplace harassment, and workplace accommodation issues. I am also expanding my offerings to include commercial litigation, workplace harassment investigations, and strategic employment law advice on mergers, acquisitions, and dispositions.

These past two and a half years have afforded me so many opportunities to see and experience things I never thought imaginable. I have been exposed to litigation and employment law issues literally the world over. So, while I am grateful to Canopy Growth for the opportunity, I look forward to sharing the knowledge obtained through those experiences with a larger client base.

It's good to be home.

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.