Termination of Employment

HR law toolkit: Boss Law BootcampHello Friends of SpringLaw!

We hope your summer has gone well! 

For many of our employer clients, it’s time to get back to business, solidify HR law systems and post-pandemic norms and to gear up for a busy fall.

We want to make that easy for you – we’re excited to announce the launch of our new Boss Law Bootcamp. This comprehensive online program is designed for both new employers not sure where to start as well as boss pros who all need to keep their legal templates and resources up to date.

The Bootcamp includes the up-to-date core HR law contracts and policies you must have in place today, plus bonus guides & checklists AND time with our employment lawyers to customize and help you with the how of implementing the legal infrastructure. We want this to be effortless and quick for you.

And we have an Early Bird price until Sept 15!

Packed with practical knowledge, templates, policies and practices!


Continue Reading New Boss Law Bootcamp

Probationary Periods: What You Need to KnowIt takes a lot to hire and onboard new employees. As much as you intend to keep each and every one of your new hires, there may be a new employee you hired not too long ago that just isn’t working out. What do you need to know before you let them go?

What is a Probationary Period?

At common law, a clear meaning has generally been attached to the term “probationary employee”. Unbeknownst to many employers, however, the terms “probation” or “probationary period” do not actually appear in the minimum standards legislation of many Canadian jurisdictions. Nonetheless, many of these pieces of legislation do exclude employers from having to give employees a specified amount of notice of termination if the employee has not accumulated a specified amount of service with the employer (typically around 3 to 6 months). For convenience, we will be referring to this amount of service as probation or the probationary period. 
Continue Reading All About Probationary Periods

Common Employer Determination: Rahman vs CannonIn a previous blog post, we wrote about the recent Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc case. Here’s a recap of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision:

  • an employee’s level of sophistication has no bearing on whether a termination clause is enforceable
  • the language in with-cause termination provisions needs to be carefully worded and abide by requirements in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)

And more importantly: 

  • subsidiary and parent companies of an employer can be considered “common employers” if there is a certain level of integration between the companies, making them jointly and severally liable to the employee 

In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the Court’s finding that the three respondent companies were common employers. 
Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates Part II

IDEL update: What's Changed & What Do Employers Need to Do? With the welcome easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Ontario – from masking requirements to vaccine mandates – it’s been a while since many employers have had to turn their minds to the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL). When the IDEL was first introduced, we were faced with an array of questions from employers. Since then, the IDEL has been through several updates and expansions. This blog discusses the most recent update to the IDEL.

Paid IDEL

What’s Changed?

Paid IDEL has now been extended to July 31, 2022. The Ontario COVID‑19 Worker Income Benefit (“Benefit”), which came into effect April 29, 2021, amended the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and required employers to provide paid IDEL to eligible employees. It was previously set to end on December 31, 2021. 
Continue Reading Update: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL)

Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates: Rahman vs CannonDoes the employee’s level of contract knowledge make a contract more enforceable? Who is on the hook for termination pay if a company has subsidiary or parent companies? 

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently answered these questions in Rahman v. Cannon Design Architecture Inc. The bottom line of the decision is:

  • an employee’s level of sophistication has no bearing on whether a termination clause is enforceable
  • the language in with-cause termination provisions needs to be carefully worded and abide by requirements in the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) 
  • subsidiary and parent companies of an employer can be considered “common employers” if there is a certain level of integration between the companies, making them jointly and severally liable to the employee. 


Continue Reading Rahman v Cannon: Common Employer & Termination Clause Updates

Dealing with both employees and employers daily, we are constantly hearing and seeing how “hot” the job market is right now. Yet employers, in particular, are finding it increasingly difficult to find workers. We are seeing this clear across the board, from the restaurant and retail industries to the corporate world. So, who is the job market “hot” for? And, how can employees and employers take advantage of this scorching time?

What’s Happening with the Job Market? 

The labour market, while hot, is also very tight right now. The unemployment rate is at an extreme low and job vacancies are at an extreme high. Why is this? COVID-19 undoubtedly changed many aspects of the way we work but one of the biggest shifts we saw was moving to remote work. This had a direct impact on the types of employment people sought out. While tech industry businesses had to staff up their growth quickly, hospitality and retail industries took a huge hit to their employment rates, with many shops and restaurants closing. With this, we’ve seen tech, financing, non-commercial real estate, and essentially any areas of work that can excel in remote work, takeoff (if managed properly).
Continue Reading Keeping Up With the Current “Hot Job Market”

One of the greatest challenges an employer can face is being sued by a former (or current) employee. In this webinar, SpringLaw’s Jessyca Greenwood and Emily Siu will walk you through the litigation process, what to expect, and some steps you can take to avoid getting into this expensive and lengthy process in the first place.

Date: Wednesday, June 15th, 2022
Time: 10:30-11:00 am EST
Register today: Click here!

Continue Reading Free webinar: Going to Court – Employment Law Litigation Tips

As employment lawyers, we know that our employer clients can sometimes feel overwhelmed with the volume of documentation they have to prepare and review to sustain a healthy workplace and minimize potential employment-related liabilities. Employment contracts and workplace policies are two of the most common employment-related documents that employers of all sizes often have to deal with in the course of an employment relationship. Many employers, especially newer and smaller ones, often wonder what the differences are between the two, what types of content go into each, and whether they hold the same weight. In this blog, we attempt to provide some insight into this topic.

What Goes in What?

The legal rights and entitlements of an employee, such as the employee’s entitlements to notice on termination or vacation entitlements, should be included in an employment contract. An employer will want to avoid including language about employees’ legal entitlements within the workplace policy; having the policy be found to be unenforceable later on could create problems for the employer. Though an employer may have a general right to make some types of amendments to their policies, altering significant components of a policy may demonstrate the employer’s intention not to be bound by the original agreement.
Continue Reading Employment Contracts vs. Workplace Policies

26-Month Notice Period Upheld by Ontario Court of Appeal
Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

In the world of workplace law we often say that, absent exceptional circumstances, the greatest notice period that any wrongfully dismissed employee could be awarded by an adjudicator is 24 months. But what are those exceptional circumstances? Years ago, we blogged about Dawe v. The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, a case in which the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the trial judge’s award of 30 months of reasonable notice for a terminated employee, reducing the final notice period to 24 months. Recently, the Ontario Court of Appeal released a decision, Currie v. Nylene Canada Inc. (“Currie”), affirming the trial judge’s assessment of damages in the amount of 26 months of reasonable notice for the wrongfully dismissed employee, Ms. Currie (“Ms. Currie”). Below we will look at the factors the Court considered in rendering this judgment.
Continue Reading Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds 26-Month Notice Period

Non-Compete Clause Update
Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

In a recent post, we talked about Ontario’s then-proposed and now law ban on non-compete agreements in employment contracts under Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“Bill 27”). The ban was effective as of October 25, 2021. Initially, there was some confusion about the enforceability of non-compete agreements or clauses entered into prior to the introduction of Bill 27. The Superior Court of Justice has recently released its decision for Parekh et al. v. Schecter et al., which clarifies that enforceable non-compete clauses entered into before October 25, 2021 will not be impacted by the ban and can be upheld. 
Continue Reading Non-Compete Clause Update