Duty to Mitigate in Claims of Wrongful Dismissal

The duty to mitigate is one of the few employee obligations in a wrongful dismissal dispute, and it can reduce a defendant employer’s liability significantly. 

What is the Duty to Mitigate?

The duty to mitigate requires an employee to take reasonable steps to secure comparable employment after they have been wrongfully dismissed. When an employer wrongfully dismisses an employee, unless there is enforceable contract language to the contrary, the employee is entitled to damages for pay in lieu of common law reasonable notice. 

Continue Reading Mitigation Part 1: What is the Duty to Mitigate in Claims of Wrongful Dismissal?

When Mental Health Meets Canada’s Favourite Pastime

A human rights claim alleging discriminatory reasons for a termination is sure to get noticed this week as it intersects with Canada’s favourite pastime: hockey. A former video analyst for the Canucks, Rachel Doerrie, filed a claim alleging that she was told she wasn’t “mentally fit” for the job just days before being terminated by the organization. She is now seeking monetary compensation and asking the human rights tribunal to make orders that will address the discrimination.
Continue Reading Accommodating Mental Health in the Workplace

Tiffany Thomas has joined SpringLaw!Another Amazing Lawyer Has Joined SpringLaw!

We are excited to announce that Tiffany Thomas has joined SpringLaw. Tiffany spent the first 4 years of her legal career at the TDSB, honing her skills in labour negotiations, contract interpretation, hearings and the ever-complicated employer-union workplace dynamics.

Tiffany’s strong labour experience is nicely paired with a feisty

We are excited to announce our 2 new lawyers, Matt Chapman and Evaleen Hellinga! They have each quickly become an invaluable part of our growing team.

Matt brings to the firm great experience litigating employee claims, advising on complex executive comp matters and helping employers through workplace law crises and legal proceedings from hire

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

SpringLaw hiring two lawyers - we’re busy and need more hands on deck!We are looking for 2 innovative, tech-savvy lawyers with 3+ years of employment law experience, each with a slightly different focus:

  • A litigation-focused lawyer who loves getting on their virtual, digital and sometimes IRL feet, with an interest in criminal law as it intersects with workplace law.
  • A solicitor-focused lawyer who loves contracts, drafting, and advising employers in their day-to-day workplace law issues.
  • We want new ideas and experience to keep optimizing our unique client service experience, and embracing automation, technology and efficiencies so we can focus on personal and high-value interactions with our clients.
  • We’re looking for aligned souls to join us for the long run.


Continue Reading Come join SpringLaw’s feisty, smart, all-woman, tech-forward team!

SpringLaw hiring two lawyers - we’re busy and need more hands on deck!We’re busy and need 2 more lawyers on deck.  Apply by Friday, April 15, 2022.

SpringLaw is looking for 2 innovative, tech-savvy lawyers with 3+ years of employment law experience, each with a slightly different focus:

  • Litigation-focused lawyer who loves getting on her virtual, digital and sometimes IRL feet, with an interest in criminal law as it intersects with workplace law
  • Solicitor-focused lawyer who loves contracts, drafting, and advising employers in their day-to-day workplace law issues.


Continue Reading SpringLaw is hiring!

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies
Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash

In our recent blog, we discussed the consequences that employees may face for not receiving government-approved COVID-19 vaccinations. We also touched on the legitimate medical or religious reasons that some employees may have for refusing or being unable to be vaccinated. In this blog, we’ll take a deeper dive into what sorts of exemptions employers should be prepared to expect (if they have not already come across them) and the steps they can take to determine whether employees have a valid request for an exemption from vaccination, along with the required accommodations. 

Types of COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Exemptions Employers May Encounter

Employers should keep an eye out for valid medical and religious/creed-based exemptions employees may have from vaccination. 

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has provided some examples (of which it emphasizes there are few) of acceptable medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination:
Continue Reading A Deeper Dive into Exemptions from Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies