Termination of Employment

Attention employers and job seekers! As a result of some incoming changes to the Employment Standards Act, job postings are about to look different!

Ontario’s Working For Workers Four Act received Royal Assent on March 21, 2024. And now, a brief interlude on Ontario’s law-making process in case you’ve forgotten: Royal Assent is the last step in the process that makes a Bill law.Continue Reading Attention Employers: Legal Changes Coming to Job Posting Requirements 

During 2023, we saw the Ontario Court of Appeal uphold two decisions awarding notice periods beyond what was believed to be the “24-month cap” at 27 and 30 months respectively.

In another recent Ontario decision, the Court awarded 5.5 months of pay in lieu of notice to an employee with only 5 months of service prior to dismissal, which is significantly higher than the “one month per year” rule of thumb. These decisions create uncertainty for employers given the wide range of potential liability arising from wrongful dismissal claims. Fortunately, there are proactive measures employers can take to avoid this liability. Continue Reading Uncertainty on Both Ends of the Common Law Notice Spectrum


Woohoo!  Mandatory policies, postings, training, legally enforceable contracts… Actually, no client has ever told us they LOVE thinking through legal compliance for their workplace. Rather, it’s the thing you have to do on top of the other revenue-generating tasks to keep the lights on. 

For owner-operator employers, there is often no one to delegate this

As we start a new year, it’s one of the most common times for an employer to review its structure, payroll, and overall organizational needs. While it’s no secret that many companies are doing mass terminations right now, a delicate trend that we are also seeing is mass terminations while simultaneously hiring new employees.

This

The English magician Tony Corinda once said: “Good timing is invisible. Bad timing sticks out a mile”. As employment lawyers, we talk a lot about the “why”, “what” and definitely the “how much” of terminating an employee, but the “when” is a sometimes overlooked aspect.

Some termination timing issues are a question of best practice or common courtesy, while others can attract significant legal liability and can be costly for employers. An employee who is being terminated may not recognize an employer’s considerate timing, but they will certainly recognize inconsiderate timing, and this will make everything go a lot less smoothly. Continue Reading It’s All in the Timing: The Best and Worst Times to Terminate Employees 

At a time when our civil justice system is plagued by extreme delay, I am grateful to practice law in an area that is well known for its focus on creative and practical problem-solving and settling, as opposed to litigating disputes. There are certainly some labour and employment disputes which simply must be litigated, but the majority of disputes will ultimately be settled. There are many reasons why settlement is often an attractive option (the delay and cost of litigation, the peace of mind a settlement can bring, and avoiding the disruption and harm that litigation can cause to a business or its reputation …just to name a few) but in this blog we will provide some tips for considering, understanding and implementing legal settlements.Continue Reading Approaching, Understanding and Implementing Legal Settlements 

If you’re an employer or HR representative well-acquainted with the realm of employment law blogs, you’ve undoubtedly encountered a myriad of cautionary tales about the perils of contracting errors.  The blogs about this topic are countless – and for good reason! The significance of getting contracts right cannot be overstated, as a single mistake could potentially lead to substantial liabilities for your organization. An omitted phrase or a misused word within a termination clause could be the deciding factor between an 8-week statutory notice obligation and a hefty 24-month damages award.Continue Reading Don’t Lose Your Enforceable Termination Clause to the Substratum Doctrine

Common Law Notice 

Upon termination of employment, if an employee’s contractual entitlements are not nailed down in an up-to-date and enforceable employment contract, the employee is likely entitled to common law reasonable notice (or pay in lieu of notice) of termination. Even if an employee’s entitlements are set out in an employment contract, it is common these days for employees, on the advice of employment law counsel, to claim that some of the contract’s termination-related provisions are not Waksdale-proof, and are therefore unenforceable. (We discuss how employers can make their contracts Waksdale-proof in this blog, and best practices for rolling out updated contracts in this blog). Under both scenarios, any path to resolution will start with an assessment of the common law notice period.  

Continue Reading Employers Can Create Win-Win Scenarios by Facilitating Re-employment for Ex-Employees

Ah, reference letters, those elusive pieces of paper that can make or break a job seeker’s dreams. But here’s the deal: employers are not an employee’s personal fan club. They don’t have an obligation to shower employees with praise in the form of reference letters. Before employers start feeling like kings on a throne, let’s explore the legal and strategic considerations surrounding reference letters and how they can impact an employer’s business.Continue Reading Do Employers Have to Provide Reference Letters? The Legal Lowdown