Archives: Termination of Employment

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When Does Racism Amount to a Poisoned Workplace?

Does racism necessarily lead to a poisoned workplace? At the end of last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded in General Motors of Canada Limited v Yohann Johnson that while the former employee, Johnson, “genuinely believed that he had been the victim of racism in his workplace” and that his “perception of events unfortunately … Continue Reading

Constructive Dismissals in a Struggling Economy

Recently, a reader asked me whether cutting back the hours of a department of hourly paid employees by about 5 hours a week for a few months would create any problems. She correctly identified constructive dismissal as the issue to consider. What is Constructive Dismissal? “Constructive dismissal” is when an employer unilaterally makes such substantial changes … Continue Reading

Decline of Damage Awards: Soost v Merrill Lynch

Recent caselaw suggests that huge damage awards for employees claiming wrongful dismissal is on the decline. Upper courts continue to cut down lower court awards and eliminate “bad faith”-types of compensation.   Last month, in Soost v Merill Lynch, the Alberta Court of Appeal reduced the lower court award to dismissed stock broker, Kurt Soost, from $2.2-million to $600,000. The … Continue Reading

Intimate Relationships in the Workplace

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Toronto city councillor Adam Giambrone made a statement to the media  last night that he has had "intimate relations" with women other than his spouse throughout most of 2009.  While at 32 years old, the politician may be excused for the lapse in judgment, given his former bid to run for … Continue Reading

Terminations: Large Damage Award if Not Nice About It

One of the more stark contrasts between Canadian and American law is the law around terminations of employment. This may be rooted in the fundamental difference between the American “at will” concept versus the Canadian contract-based employment relationship. In other words, unless a contract says otherwise, in the US, an employee is hired “at will” and … Continue Reading

Social Media in the Workplace: Reliable Evidence?

Should an employer friend his or her employees on Facebook? Connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter or read an employee’s blog? There is no consensus and employers continue to grapple with the role of social media in the workplace – and the role employers should take within these vehicles of communication.  The more difficult question is not … Continue Reading
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