COVID-19: Legislative Changes to Constructive Dismissal

As of May 29, 2020, the Ontario government has altered the law on constructive dismissal. In Farber v. Royal Trust Co., the Supreme Court of Canada describes a constructive dismissal as “a fundamental or substantial change to an employee’s contract of employment.” In its subsequent decision in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services, the Supreme Court further explains … Continue reading COVID-19: Legislative Changes to Constructive Dismissal

COVID-19: Legislative Changes for Employees and Employers

We have heard it repeatedly from the media and our political leaders.  These are unprecedented times. Since the goverment-ordered shutdown of all businesses and services that were deemed to be non-essential, the financial well-being of millions of Canadian employees - as well as the companies they work for - have been severely impacted.   In … Continue reading COVID-19: Legislative Changes for Employees and Employers

Will Your Termination Clause Hold Up?

One of the hot button topics in employment law for the last several years is the enforceability of termination clauses or notice provisions in employment agreements. Such clauses attempt to limit an employee's entitlements upon dismissal, often to the minimum standards set out in the Employment Standards Act, 2000. In recent years, the case law … Continue reading Will Your Termination Clause Hold Up?

Can you contract out of Employment Standards?

The answer to this question is fairly clear. The Employment Standards Act, 2000 specifies that an employer, an employee, or their agents may not enter into an agreement that waives an employment standard. Any such agreement is considered void under the legislation. One example is a notice provision or termination clause in an employment contract … Continue reading Can you contract out of Employment Standards?

The Art of the Notice Period

The dismissal of an employee without cause is never easy. For the employee, it means the loss of his and his family's means of livelihood through no fault of his own (most of the time). For the employer, it can entail a rather uncomfortable termination meeting with a perhaps valuable and even likeable, but nonetheless, redundant … Continue reading The Art of the Notice Period

Weak Economy? You Could Be Entitled to More Pay in Lieu of Notice

In a previous case comment, I wrote about how an employer's declining financial health can reduce a court's assessment of the reasonable notice period that an employee may be entitled to in a wrongful dismissal case. By contrast, in a recent case, Zoldowski v. Strongco Corporation, 2015 ONSC 5485, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice considered … Continue reading Weak Economy? You Could Be Entitled to More Pay in Lieu of Notice

Gristey v. Emke Schaab Climatecare Inc.: The Effect of Economic Factors on the Notice Period

Justice Conlan's decision in Gristey v. Emke Schaab Climatecare Inc. 2014 ONSC 1798 (Ont. S.C.J.) underscores the fact there is no complete catalogue of factors that go into determining the amount of notice that would be reasonable for an employee to receive. By way of background, if an employee is let go without cause for dismissal, the … Continue reading Gristey v. Emke Schaab Climatecare Inc.: The Effect of Economic Factors on the Notice Period

Employment Law Basics: Dismissal and Notice

In Ontario, employment is governed by the law of contract and legislation -  primarily, the Employment Standards Act, 2000, S.O. 2000, c. 41. An employment relationship is, in essence, an agreement between an employer and an employee.  These agreements or contracts may be either written or verbal.  In Ontario, the employer may dismiss the employee for … Continue reading Employment Law Basics: Dismissal and Notice

“I’ve Just Received a Severance Package. What Should I Do?”

Your boss calls you into her office for a meeting.  As you step inside, you see the Human Resources Manager seated in one of the chairs on the other side of your boss' desk.  The other chair is empty except for an envelope with your name on it. You may have already seen the writing … Continue reading “I’ve Just Received a Severance Package. What Should I Do?”