Important update for all federal employers! Amendments to the Canada Labour Code are now in force as of February 1, 2024. Do you fall into this category? And if so, what does this mean for you? 

Federal Employers

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, the Canada Labour Code is a federal law which sets out minimum employment standards for sectors that fall under federal power. Continue Reading Update for Federal Employers: Canada Labour Code Amendments – Now in Force, as of February 1, 2024

During 2023, we saw the Ontario Court of Appeal uphold two decisions awarding notice periods beyond what was believed to be the “24-month cap” at 27 and 30 months respectively.

In another recent Ontario decision, the Court awarded 5.5 months of pay in lieu of notice to an employee with only 5 months of service prior to dismissal, which is significantly higher than the “one month per year” rule of thumb. These decisions create uncertainty for employers given the wide range of potential liability arising from wrongful dismissal claims. Fortunately, there are proactive measures employers can take to avoid this liability. Continue Reading Uncertainty on Both Ends of the Common Law Notice Spectrum


Woohoo!  Mandatory policies, postings, training, legally enforceable contracts… Actually, no client has ever told us they LOVE thinking through legal compliance for their workplace. Rather, it’s the thing you have to do on top of the other revenue-generating tasks to keep the lights on. 

For owner-operator employers, there is often no one to delegate this

When bringing people in to work with your business, the distinction between an “employee” and an “independent contractor” is not just an administrative detail; it carries significant legal implications, particularly in the realms of tax and employment law.

If a court, the Ministry of Labour, or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) finds a worker has been “mischaracterized” by being treated as an independent contractor when they are an employee, this can have serious and expensive implications. Continue Reading Navigating the Legal Distinction: Employee vs. Independent Contractor Relationships

There has been no shortage of high-profile workplace investigations and discussions surrounding the outcome of those investigations in the news over the past year. But what happens when you’re no longer reading about the investigation in the news and you’re suddenly at the center of one in your workplace? 

Whether you’re an employer who is

As we start a new year, it’s one of the most common times for an employer to review its structure, payroll, and overall organizational needs. While it’s no secret that many companies are doing mass terminations right now, a delicate trend that we are also seeing is mass terminations while simultaneously hiring new employees.

This

As employment lawyers, we all have times when we wish our employer-side clients had come to us for advice before making certain decisions.  There’s a lot that can be done to protect an employer who seeks assistance early in the process – especially if it involves a termination.  Costs can be reduced, risks can be mitigated, and whole potential areas for future disputes can be eliminated entirely with careful consideration and planning.

The result of failing to get proper employment law advice can be catastrophic.  Not only can it be exceedingly expensive, but the reputational damage for an organization can be profound.  And if you’re an employer who has made some mistakes in the process – do not double down on those errors by adopting unreasonable and ill-supported litigation strategies.  The patience of Canadian courts has worn thin and there appears to be an increased willingness to award moral and punitive damages, as well as substantial cost awards, when finding that employers have behaved badly.  2023 has produced some truly prodigious decisions on this front.  Here are my top three 2023 cases in which employers f***ed around and found out.Continue Reading Bad Employer Conduct – 2023’s Top 3 Most Scathing Canadian Employment Law Decisions

Are employers required to accommodate an employee at Christmas?

If an employee requests December 25 off for “family time” or religious events, are those protected grounds under Canadian human rights law?  This arises in industries that stay open 365 days a year, such as hospitals, public transit, variety stores, movie theatres and some restaurants. 

For

On November 8, 2023, we wrote about the new pay transparency legislation in British Columbia that is now in effect and also noted that the Ontario government announced plans to introduce similar legislation. On November 14, 2023, the Ontario government did just that with Bill 149, Working for Workers Four Act, 2023

Bill 149, among other things, would require employers who advertise a “publicly advertised job posting” to include “information about the expected compensation for the position or the range of expected compensation for the position.” Continue Reading Ontario Introduces Pay Transparency Bill as It Aims to Keep Pace with British Columbia and Prince Edward Island

The English magician Tony Corinda once said: “Good timing is invisible. Bad timing sticks out a mile”. As employment lawyers, we talk a lot about the “why”, “what” and definitely the “how much” of terminating an employee, but the “when” is a sometimes overlooked aspect.

Some termination timing issues are a question of best practice or common courtesy, while others can attract significant legal liability and can be costly for employers. An employee who is being terminated may not recognize an employer’s considerate timing, but they will certainly recognize inconsiderate timing, and this will make everything go a lot less smoothly. Continue Reading It’s All in the Timing: The Best and Worst Times to Terminate Employees