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.
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.
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.…
Canadian Employment Law for US Employers: Part 2 – Contracts…
Explore the benefits of the ‘clawback clause’ in severance packages. Learn how it can create a win-win situation during group terminations.
Continue Reading The Power of An “If You Get Another Job Clause”
Discover key differences in US and Canadian employment laws in this blog series tailored for US employers operating in Canada.
Continue Reading Canadian Employment Law for US Employers: Part 1 – Backgrounder
Ensure a witness is present when signing releases with former employees to protect your business from future legal challenges.
Continue Reading Cover Your Assets: Why Having a Witnessed Release is Your Best Defense Against Future Legal Woes
In this blog, we provide some practical tips and tricks on effectively managing the unionized workforce and relationships.
Continue Reading Practical Tips and Tricks for Managing a Unionized Workforce
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.…
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. …