Archives: Termination of Employment

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Why Bother with Employment Contracts?

I had a client recently ask why he would bother going through the cost and efforts of doing up an employment contract, if he was going to have to fight with ex-employees’ lawyers and pay out a package in a without cause situation anyway.  Good question. Without Cause Termination Entitlements It remains very difficult to … Continue Reading

Top 3 Uniquely Canadian Workplace Issues

Toronto is a great place to be a tech employer. It’s a cool city with exciting innovation and talent. If you’re a US company considering getting in on the action in Toronto, there are few things you should know about the True North. Canada strives to have workplaces that are tolerant and inclusive and employees … Continue Reading

Microsoft Acquiring LinkedIn: What is the Employee Impact in a Share Transaction?

Microsoft Corp. and LinkedIn recently announced that Microsoft will soon acquire LinkedIn in a transaction valued at $26.2 billion – click here for the company’s announcement. Under the deal, Microsoft will purchase LinkedIn’s shares at $196 each. If a share sale like this happened in Ontario, the identity of LinkedIn would not change – Microsoft … Continue Reading

Tweeting Your Way to Termination

A blog post just in time for some downtime over the holiday – when can personal tweets become grounds for termination?  Some of you may remember when in August of 2013 Canadian news outlets were a-buzz with the termination of two Toronto Firefighters for sexist comments made on Twitter. For a media report on the details of the … Continue Reading

How to Fire an Employee

Yes, this is a crummy subject, for both sides of the issue.  I have yet to meet an employer or HR person who looks forward to that awkward meeting, where they need to pull the plug.  Even amicable separations are full of potential anxiety about how to treat each other fairly, while advocating for oneself. … Continue Reading

When Does Racism Amount to a Poisoned Workplace?

Does racism necessarily lead to a poisoned workplace? At the end of last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded in General Motors of Canada Limited v Yohann Johnson that while the former employee, Johnson, “genuinely believed that he had been the victim of racism in his workplace” and that his “perception of events unfortunately … Continue Reading

Constructive Dismissals in a Struggling Economy

Recently, a reader asked me whether cutting back the hours of a department of hourly paid employees by about 5 hours a week for a few months would create any problems. She correctly identified constructive dismissal as the issue to consider. What is Constructive Dismissal? “Constructive dismissal” is when an employer unilaterally makes such substantial changes … Continue Reading

Decline of Damage Awards: Soost v Merrill Lynch

Recent caselaw suggests that huge damage awards for employees claiming wrongful dismissal is on the decline. Upper courts continue to cut down lower court awards and eliminate “bad faith”-types of compensation.   Last month, in Soost v Merill Lynch, the Alberta Court of Appeal reduced the lower court award to dismissed stock broker, Kurt Soost, from $2.2-million to $600,000. The … Continue Reading

Intimate Relationships in the Workplace

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Toronto city councillor Adam Giambrone made a statement to the media  last night that he has had "intimate relations" with women other than his spouse throughout most of 2009.  While at 32 years old, the politician may be excused for the lapse in judgment, given his former bid to run for … Continue Reading

Terminations: Large Damage Award if Not Nice About It

One of the more stark contrasts between Canadian and American law is the law around terminations of employment. This may be rooted in the fundamental difference between the American "at will" concept versus the Canadian contract-based employment relationship. In other words, unless a contract says otherwise, in the US, an employee is hired "at will" and … Continue Reading

Social Media in the Workplace: Reliable Evidence?

Should an employer friend his or her employees on Facebook? Connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter or read an employee’s blog? There is no consensus and employers continue to grapple with the role of social media in the workplace – and the role employers should take within these vehicles of communication.  The more difficult question is not … Continue Reading
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