Termination of Employment

How to Avoid Constructive DismissalsNow, more than ever, businesses are modifying and evolving in order to keep up with changes in social and industry trends, work environments, office locations, and the economy.  Generally, your business evolving is a good thing and means you’re doing well but major changes to the organization of your business can also lead to constructive dismissals. As an employer, you need to be aware of how to make changes at work, without forcing employees out. 

What is Constructive Dismissal? 

It’s no secret that hiring and firing are pretty common and well-known practices while running a business. What is less talked about are constructive dismissals. A constructive dismissal happens when a unilateral change made to an employee’s contract or overall employment relationship is so significant that it basically breaks the contract.  A change leading to a constructive dismissal claim must be fundamental and done without the employee’s agreement, leaving the employee feeling like their only option is to resign and sue for breaking that contract. 
Continue Reading How to Avoid Constructive Dismissals

recording employee termination meetingsAn employer recently asked whether it would be helpful for them to record a sensitive employee termination meeting and, more broadly, whether this is a recommended practice for routine terminations. In this particular case, the logistics of having a second person attend as a witness were tricky, and the employer was also looking to be more efficient by having only one person conduct the meeting.

In remote work environments, it’s easy to secretly record meetings.  In most cases, however, there is more to lose than gain by recording a meeting without the other person’s consent. Obtaining consent is of course always an option, but that usually changes the tone and content of any meeting, making the recording a less useful exercise.  
Continue Reading Employers: There’s no need to record employee termination meetings

Employers may want to reassess how they terminate their employees and the timeframe and manner through which they provide their employees with their termination-related entitlements. Pohl v Hudson’s Bay Company, 2022 ONSC 5230, a recent Ontario decision, demonstrates, amongst other things, what a court may award an employee whose dismissal was conducted by an employer in an unfair manner.  

What Happened?

A 28-year full-time Hudson’s Bay Company Sales Manager in his 50s was terminated on a without-cause basis and immediately walked out the door. He earned an annual salary of $61,254 plus pension contributions and other benefits.
Continue Reading The Importance of Being Honest and Sensitive: The $50k+ Moral and Punitive Damage Award

Human rights legislation across Canada protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship. Long-term leaves of absence often leave employers wondering how to fulfil their duty to accommodate and at what point are they able to terminate an employee after an extended absence.

How Does an Employer Accommodate an Employee Who Can’t Work Due to Disability? 

When an employee requests a leave from work due to illness or injury with supporting documentation, employers generally start by providing the requested leave. Permitting the leave constitutes an accommodation. Generally, the initial leave is for a period of a few weeks or months depending on the medical professional’s recommendation. Following this initial accommodation, human rights adjudicators require an employer to actively engage with the employee to explore other potential accommodations. To do so, an employer should maintain reasonable contact with the employee to monitor their intention and ability to return to work and seek up-to-date information about the nature of the employee’s medical condition, restrictions and limitations, prognosis for recovery, and ability to perform alternative work. This process is ongoing and may last for several years. Employees must have the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the accommodation process. 
Continue Reading Accommodating Long-Term Absences: Considerations for Employers

Common Contracting Mistakes Made by EmployersEnsuring that you have succinct, legally compliant, and up-to-date contracts in place is one of the most important things an employer can do to start off on the right foot with a new employee.  It also helps to avoid legal headaches down the road, should the employment relationship not work out.

Bosses and managers are busy and budgets can be tight, leading businesses to sometimes cut corners when it comes to contract templates. Below are 5 of the most common contracting mistakes employers make that can come back to bite them later.
Continue Reading 5 Common Contracting Mistakes Made by Employers

The pandemic has taken its toll on workplaces. Employees are no longer prepared to take it for the collective team at the expense of self-care and family, and employers are stretched on time, budgets and bandwidth as everyone settles into the new post-pandemic era. There is currently a disconnect between what is “the job” and what are the “above and beyond” parts of the role, resulting in a fresh wave of communication gaps and misunderstandings in the workplace.

Perfect Storm – Why Now?

Why are employees only now Quiet Quitting? Workplaces are currently in this perfect storm of disconnects and job evolution:
Continue Reading Managing Quiet Quitting Employees

Free Webinar: Managing Quietly Quitting EmployeesThe pandemic has taken its toll on workplaces. Employees are no longer prepared to take it for the collective team at the expense of self-care and family, and employers are stretched on time, budgets and bandwidth as everyone settles into the new post-pandemic era. There is currently a disconnect between what is “the job” and what are the “above and beyond” parts of the role, resulting in a fresh wave of communication gaps and misunderstandings in the workplace.

This webinar will help employers sort through quiet quitting, performance expectations and how to reduce overall legal risks and headaches with employees who are no longer showing up with robust enthusiasm (and/or showing up to simply do only their job).
Continue Reading Free webinar: Managing Quietly Quitting Employees

Hey Ontario Employers!  Are you burnt out and overwhelmed with all of the HR Law fires you’re always putting out and the struggle of just keeping up with legal compliance?  We have built a brand-new legal solution called the Boss Law Bootcamp!  Check out the video below and/or visit our website to learn more!

age and gender discrimination in the workplaceIt has been only a few weeks since Lisa LaFlamme, CTV National News’ former chief anchor and senior editor,  shared on Twitter that Bell Media terminated her contract after over 30 years with the company. Her termination has since made international news due to allegations of age and gender discrimination. The company’s Vice President has announced a leave of absence and other employees have publicly raised concerns about a toxic work environment. 

Age discrimination is likely to become a more common allegation against employers given the general demographics of our workforce. The proportion of working-age people in Canada who are between the ages of 55 and 64 is at an all-time high of 21.8%.  
Continue Reading Lessons in Managing an Aging Workforce: Terminations

In the recent Court of Appeal decision in Kosteckyj v. Paramount Resources Ltd. 2022 ABCA 230 (CanLII), the court considered the possibility that specific timelines could be imposed on employees for voicing dissatisfaction with unwelcome changes to the terms of their employment if they want to subsequently argue that they’ve been constructively dismissed.

What Typically Triggers a Constructive Dismissal Claim?

Constructive dismissal arguments often follow unilateral changes made to an employment agreement by the employer.  When an employee alleges a constructive dismissal after a change, they’re essentially saying that the change cuts so deeply to the core of the employment relationship that they’ve been forced to leave: “I’m quitting, but you made me! … and by the way, you have to now compensate me as if you’d fired me.”
Continue Reading How Long Can an Employee Dispute Compensation Changes?