Employers often wonder how to handle requests for leaves of absence from employees.

This requires understanding the various options available depending on the terms of employment and benefit plans, but also obligations under employment standards legislation and human rights legislation. This balancing act can become burdensome and lead to liability for employers if mishandled. Continue Reading An Employee Has Requested a Leave of Absence, Now What?

Mitigation issues can save an employer months of termination pay and/or gut your termination case, depending on whether you are the employer or employee in a dispute.

But what exactly is mitigation? This post sets out the basics.

What is Mitigation?

In Canadian employment law, mitigation refers to the legal obligation of an employee who

The dust has settled post-pandemic and employees are out of sorts. Turnover is high across all industries as people regroup and sort through what they want out of their careers.

We regularly hear about employees resisting commuting, moving on quicker than ever when the job gets difficult, and when regular feedback gets uncomfortable.Continue Reading Exiting Employees on a Disability Leave

Wage Deductions: Ontario Law Explained

Nobody wants to receive a paycheque that’s smaller than they were expecting, but sometimes, wage deductions are necessary. So, when can an employer make deductions from an employee’s wages? In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) provides guidelines regarding what deductions are permissible, in order to protect employees and their earnings. 

Employers are generally

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

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