Employment & Labour

A thorough workplace investigation is vital: Hawryliw

Failing to address a workplace harassment complaint in a timely fashion can end up being more costly than an investigation, says Barrie employment lawyer Scott Hawryliw. Read more

Options remain after OCA rejects harassment tort

Harassment victims still have legal recourse despite the Ontario Court of Appeal’s (OCA) rejection of it as a freestanding civil tort, says Vaughan labour and employment lawyer Arthur Zeilikman. Read more

Language to limit incentive compensation on termination

By Laura Williams Without an enforceable employment agreement, upon a without-cause dismissal, an employee is entitled to be provided with pay in lieu of reasonable notice including his or her full compensation package during the (often lengthy) common law reasonable notice period, including base salary, benefits, bonuses, stock options and more. Read more

Harassed employee awarded $200,000 from former employer

A $200,000 damage award in favour of a fired employee should serve as a warning to all employers to take the problem of harassment seriously, says Toronto employment lawyer Bram Lecker. Read more

Restrictive covenants in employment contracts must be reasonable

Companies that want employees to sign non-competition or non-solicitation agreements have to ensure these documents are appropriately structured or else they will not be enforceable, says Toronto employment lawyer Ellen Low . Read more

Cannabis legalization doesn’t mean you can be high at work

By Stuart Rudner On Oct. 17, 2018, the recreational use of cannabis was decriminalized. For several years before that, I spoke at conferences to address extensive fears that decriminalization would lead to rampant drug use and impairment at work. Read more

Conflicting statutory obligations do not absolve employer of duties

By Laura Williams . Employers in Canada are subject to a variety of legislation that governs the way they conduct business in areas ranging from environmental compliance to employee relations. What does an employer do when two of those statutory obligations seem to be at odds? While most employment-related legislation interacts with little difficulty, on occasion fulfilling one statutory obligation may cause the employer to violate another obligation at law. Read more

Costs award reduced from $171,000 to zilch

By Barry Fisher In this case , the judge was called upon to reconsider his trial award of costs after the Court of Appeal reduced the plaintiff’s damages from $137,000 to $57,000. Read more

See a lawyer before signing termination agreement: MacLeod

It’s important to get legal advice before accepting a termination package to ensure you are getting the best possible deal, says Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod. Read more

Progressive discipline vital in just-cause terminations

Progressive discipline is critical in terminations alleging just cause, says Toronto employment lawyer Soma Ray-Ellis. Read more

Mutual release set aside due to fraudulent misrepresentation

By Barry B. Fisher . In this case , the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the lower courts’ decision to set aside a settlement with its ex-employee to whom they had paid 36 months severance pay only to find out later that he had actually ripped them off for a million dollars. Read more

Directors sent to jail for failure to pay employee wages

By Doug MacLeod . If you are a director or a party to a unanimous shareholder agreement did you know that you are personally liable for unpaid wages and you could go to jail for up to one year for failing to pay them? Read more

Costly mistakes for startups

By Christopher Achkar . Startups are infant businesses and most have doomsday clocks – a deadline by which they must become profitable to survive. Success in the startup sphere depends on several elements, and adaptability to the many moving parts while adhering to legal standards greatly increases success rates. Read more

Prevent mental health issues from impacting your bottom line

Although mental health issues can be uncomfortable to discuss, employers have a duty to inquire if they suspect one of their employees is suffering from an undisclosed illness, says Toronto employment lawyer Jordan Rodney. Read more

Can an employer rely on the findings of a criminal trial?

By Laura Williams . When an employee is convicted of a criminal offence, employers can be left wondering what to do. Depending on the nature of the crime, an employer may feel that the worker’s continued employment is not tenable and may wish to end that relationship for that reason. Read more