Photo of Hilary Page

Hilary Page brings a diverse legal background to her employment law practice. She started her career summering with a litigation boutique in downtown Toronto and then articled in-house at a municipality, where she developed an interest in workplace and human rights law.

employee tests covid-19 positive
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

As case numbers rise, employers and employees alike may wonder what they should do if an employee or a co-worker tests Covid-19 positive. 

If An Employee is COVID-19 Positive

Obviously, an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 should not return to work until they are no longer COVID-19 positive. In Ontario, workplaces are currently required to administer the daily screening tool, which ideally catches any infected employee early. 

Employers should assess the infected employee’s past actions and potential contacts. It may not be necessary to close the entire workplace, but it may make sense to close off their work area or the bathroom they used for a time and then to thoroughly disinfect the area.
Continue Reading Covid-19 Infections At Work

dress code rulesWith so much hot news swirling around, some may have missed the story of the Arctic research mission MOSAiC’s dress code. Apparently, women on board the ship were told not to dress in tight-fitting clothing, and specifically no leggings, no crop tops, no short shorts, no hot pants and “nothing too revealing.” The leader of the mission apparently felt that this was a “safety issue,” as “there are a lot of men on board this ship … and some of them are going to be on board this ship for months at a time.” Ah hem. 

It’s been reported that the dress code policy followed allegations of sexual harassment made by several women on the ship.


Continue Reading Dress Code Rules: What’s wrong with saying “no hot pants”?

Risks of Not Firing Properly
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Employers often wonder what the consequences might be if they don’t do everything their lawyer tells them to or, if they don’t get a lawyer at all and just “wing it” when hiring, firing, or dealing with workplace issues like harassment complaints or requests for accommodation. 

Of course, it depends. Not every employee is going to be litigious, but a fair number are. It’s generally pretty easy for employees to get legal consultations and a lawyer to take their “wrongful dismissals” on contingency. The barrier to entry can be quite low.  

So, what can an employer expect? In today’s post, we will go through the various types of employer-worst-case-scenario employment law damages.

Continue Reading Employment Law Damages: The Risk of Not Firing Properly

A Guide for Employers during COVID-19A Guide for Employers during COVID-19

This Guide sets out the key employment law issues to consider, as well as the government’s financial relief options to explore to get through this deep economic crisis.  (Last Updated October 21, 2020).

Further free resources can be found here.

Should you need legal advice on how to manage

executive termination package entitlements
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Unfortunately, lots of terminations are coming across our desks these days. While most employers understand that they need to provide notice of termination, many employees have a variety of different types of compensation which may or may not continue during the notice period. As with many things in law, it depends! 

Let’s go over some of the common aspects of executive termination packages.

A Primer on Notice

It all starts with notice! Unless an employee is being terminated for cause, they are entitled to notice of termination. “For cause” or “with cause” terminations are rare, so in most cases and absent egregious employee behaviour, employers will owe employees notice.

Continue Reading Termination Entitlements: Benefits, Bonuses and Commissions

Considerations for employers recalling employees to work
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Employers are encountering issues as they ask their employees to come back to work. We will take a look at some of these in today’s blog. 

A Recap 

Many employees were placed on layoffs in March 2020, when the shutdowns occurred. In Ontario, these layoffs were then converted into deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leaves. While statutory layoff timelines normally restrict the amount of time an employee can be on a layoff before being considered terminated, in Ontario the Infectious Disease Emergencies Leave amendments to the Employment Standards Act changed this. Ontario employees can now be involuntarily off work (laid off) until January 2, 2020, without having a  termination triggered. 

A layoff does not end the employment relationship. It’s just a temporary pause, which anticipates that the employer will bring the employee back to work or recall them. 
Continue Reading Recalling Employees to Work: Considerations for Employers

accommodating employees keeping kids home
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

When is fear of Covid-19 justification for keeping kids home from school and to what extent does an employer have to accommodate the employee’s preference? While we’ve discussed this and similar issues on the blog in the past few weeks, a recent family court decision sheds some light on how courts might treat this issue.

Disagreement About Going to School

In Chase v. Chase, a divorced mother and father disagreed about whether their son should attend school in-person or do online learning. No one in either household had an underlying medical condition which would make them more vulnerable to complications from Covid-19. 
Continue Reading A Judge Decides About Going to School: Guidance for Employers

On July 30, 2020, we sent out a note to our clients and readers alerting you all that because the state of emergency in Ontario ended on July 24, 2020, the deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leaves (“IDEL”) would be ending on September 4, 2020. On September 3, 2020, the Ontario government made another change. The deemed IDEL has now been extended until January 2, 2021. You can check out the Ontario government’s news release and get further details in the Ministry of Labour’s Guide.

So, the clock has been reset once again.

Does This Apply to Me?
Continue Reading ONCE AGAIN Attention Employers with Employees on the IDEL! Deemed IDEL Now Extended to January 2, 2021!

government income replacement programs post-CERB
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Buh-Bye CERB

The federal government has introduced a suite of new income replacement programs which will take over from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) once it ends on October 3, 2020. Note that individuals can still apply for the CERB until December 2, 2020, but the benefit application must be for income lost during the time period March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020. FAQs about the CERB and the various application processes can be found on the government site here

Remember that while it has been very easy to get the CERB, it is not properly available to those who refuse to return to work or who quit their jobs because being on the CERB is more lucrative than working.
Continue Reading New Government Income Replacement Benefits

A Guide for Employers during COVID-19A Guide for Employers during COVID-19

This Guide sets out the key employment law issues to consider, as well as the government’s financial relief options to explore to get through this deep economic crisis.  (Last Updated August 27, 2020).

Further free resources can be found here.

Should you need legal advice on how to manage