No At-Will Employment in Canada

Are you an employer with operations in both Canada & the US? This post is for you.

Contracts vs At-Will Employment

For our US readers, Canada does not have at-will employment. In Canada, employment relationships are governed by employment contracts, either written or implied, and various employment laws and regulations. Employers are generally required to provide reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice when terminating an employee without cause.

For our Canadian readers, at-will employment is a term used in the United States to describe the employment relationship between an employer and an employee, where either party can terminate the employment at any time, with or without cause, and with or without notice. This means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all, as long as it is not for an illegal reason (such as discrimination). Similarly, an employee can quit their job at any time without providing a reason or notice.

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Employee Productivity Issues: How to Manage Time Theft

When the vast majority of the Canadian workforce suddenly transitioned to working from home in 2020, managers were concerned about employee productivity. Most employees believed remote work increased productivity, while managers believed the opposite. The debate continues. Candidly, I am on the “increased productivity” side of the debate: working remotely allows me to focus without interruption and bring my full energy to my work by avoiding a soul-sucking commute. However, managers’ concerns about productivity are not always misplaced. Employees who do not put in the hours required by their contract are engaging in time theft, which is typically cause for discipline and, in particularly egregious circumstances, termination for cause. 

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Legal Fees Explained

So you’ve decided that you’d like to hire an employment/labour law firm. What about legal fees? You’ve seen the ads on TV and online where lawyers promise not to take a cut of anything until you win. Other lawyers’ services seem to cost an arm and a leg. How do you navigate the world of legal fees? This can be tricky, so below we’ve outlined some of the most common fee structures for employment lawyers.

Hourly Rate

This is one of the most popular fee structures used by employment lawyers. The lawyer charges an hourly rate for their time, and the client pays for the actual time spent working on the case. Basically, the lawyer will track every minute (or even every six minutes, to be exact) they spend on your case, and they’ll charge you for that time. That means if they spend 18 minutes on the phone with you, they’re gonna bill you for 0.3 hours.

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