Articles 2021

Today
Today
Severance Paying Employers: Ontario court clarifies threshold

Severance Paying Employers: Ontario court clarifies threshold

  • June 26, 2014
  • Michael Stitz

According to the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Paquette c. Quadraspec Inc., an Ontario employer’s payroll outside of the province is now to be accounted for when determining if they are obligated to pay statutory severance pursuant to Section 64 of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act. To date, the prevailing view of the Court has been that only a company’s Ontario payroll would be accounted for in determining if the statutory payroll threshold had been met.

Labour and Employment Law

Butting Out Smokers from the Workplace

  • June 26, 2014
  • Danielle T. Gauer

Many cities across North America have severely limited the rights of smokers, and this practice has now even carried over into hiring principles of employers in many American States. Although the medical community recognizes that smoking is in fact an addiction similar to alcohol and drug dependencies, which have both been found to be disabilities within the meaning of the Ontario Human Rights Code, the case law is divided on the legal issue of addiction to nicotine.

Labour and Employment Law
Supreme Court Rules that an Equity Partner is Not an Employee

Supreme Court Rules that an Equity Partner is Not an Employee

  • June 17, 2014
  • Justin Tetreault

In McCormick v. Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, the SCC examined whether an equity partner at a large law firm qualified as an employee for the purposes of the British Columbia Human Rights Code. While the SCC found that John McCormick was not an employee on the individual facts of this case, importantly, the Court left the door open for other partners, who exercised less control and were more dependent on the firm to be classified as employees in the future.

Labour and Employment Law
Workplace Accommodation for Childcare Obligations Upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal

Workplace Accommodation for Childcare Obligations Upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal

  • June 17, 2014
  • Christine N. Westlake

The recent unanimous decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Attorney General of Canada v. Johnstone, makes it clear that family status within the Canadian Human Rights Act, includes parental childcare obligations, which requires accommodation by employers. This decision serves to illustrate the need for flexible and inclusive work environments for employees with restrictive childcare obligations.

Labour and Employment Law
Which Clock to Watch: Limitation Periods for Anticipatory Breaches of Contracts

Which Clock to Watch: Limitation Periods for Anticipatory Breaches of Contracts

  • May 12, 2014
  • Adrian Ishak

The Ontario Court of Appeal clarifies when time begins to run for an anticipatory breach of contract. In situations where a party clearly refuses the other’s expressed anticipated breach and instead presses for the specific performance of the agreement, the limitation clock starts to run from the time of the actual failure to perform and not from the notice of breach.

Labour and Employment Law

Offensive Facebook Post Results in Just Cause Termination of Employee

  • April 15, 2014
  • Danielle T. Gauer

The growth of social media has resulted in individuals having ready access to a variety of online forums where they can express their views and opinions. The recent Newfoundland arbitration decision, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 64 v. Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited, makes it clear that using Facebook to post offensive and/or harassing comments about one’s employer can have serious consequences for an employee.

Labour and Employment Law

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

  • March 11, 2014
  • John Stout

The recent SCC decision in Bernard involves a situation where a trade union sought home contact information for bargaining unit members from an employer. The PSLRB ordered the employer to provide the home contact information of bargaining unit members to the union because the information was necessary for the union to carry out its representational duties. The union was also ordered to keep the information secure and only use the information for representational purposes.

Labour and Employment Law
Workplace Harassment Complaints Found to Engage Anti-Reprisal Provisions Under OHSA

Workplace Harassment Complaints Found to Engage Anti-Reprisal Provisions Under OHSA

  • March 11, 2014
  • Carla Nassar

In a recent decision, the Ontario Labour Relations Board appears to have changed its previous approach to allegations that a worker has been terminated for making a complaint of workplace harassment. While the Board had previously found that it likely did not have the authority to deal with such complaints, the Board now appears to accept that this type of allegation engages the anti-reprisal provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Labour and Employment Law