enforceability of specific termination provisions
Image by Edar from Pixabay

This Ontario Court of Appeal decision has been the talk of the town on all the Ontario employment law blogs and while we don’t like to be followers, we also wanted to make sure our readers did not miss this important decision. In Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc. the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled on the enforceability of specific termination provisions in an employment contract, finding the “without cause” termination provision enforceable because of a flaw in the “with cause” provision. 

Courts frequently come up with new ways of invalidating employer drafted termination provisions that would restrict an employee’s entitlement to notice. The enforceability of termination provisions is what lots of employment cases are about. A properly drafted termination provision in an employment contract can significantly limit an employee’s entitlement to notice of termination. For example, a long service employee terminated “without cause” could be entitled to as little as 8 weeks or as much as 2 years of notice depending on the contract. 
Continue Reading Employers Get Out Your Contracts: An Important Ruling on Termination Provisions

We blogged about David Heller and his fight against Uber last May when leave to the Supreme Court of Canada was granted. You can catch up on the history and read that post here. If you’re a true nerd you can also watch footage of the arguments made in the Supreme Court here!  The Supreme Court’s decision has now been released.

A Brief History

Heller, a driver for UberEats, brought a class action suit against Uber in 2017 alleging that he was an employee under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). Uber, in response to this suit, said that Heller could not sue in Ontario because of the arbitration clause in his contract with Uber. 

The Arbitration Clause

Putting aside the issue of whether Uber drivers are employees – entitled to things like public holiday pay, vacation pay, notice of termination etc. under the ESA – the suit became about the correct forum. Could Heller bring Uber to court in Ontario? Or did the arbitration clause in the contract with Uber apply?
Continue Reading UberEats Driver Fight Stays in Canada

The CEWS, the CERB and Returning to Work
Photo by Ewien van Bergeijk – Kwant on U

As we look towards returning to work and re-opening businesses we thought we would re-visit the CEWS and CERB, both of which have recently been extended. 

The CEWS (Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy) continues to provide employers with a wage subsidy to bring employees back. The CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) may be working against employers in some instances, where employees do not want to come back or serve to make more money by not working and staying on the CERB. 

Extension of the CEWS

The government has doubled the length of the CEWS program to now extend until August 29, 2020. Eligibility for the CEWS is broken down into periods, where an employer needs to demonstrate a specific revenue reduction for that period. Periods 5 (July 5 – August 1) and 6 (August 2 to August 29) are expected to require a 30% reduction in revenue, however, details have not yet been announced.
Continue Reading The CEWS, the CERB and Returning to Work

A Guide for Employers during COVID-19A Guide for Employers during COVID-19

This Guide sets out the key employment law issues to consider, as well as the government’s financial relief options to explore to get through this deep economic crisis.  (Last Updated June 3, 2020).

Further free resources can be found here.

Should you need legal advice on how to manage

new Infectious Disease Emergency Leave regulationAs many of our readers and clients know, we have been cautioning that the legality of certain layoffs and job changes necessitated by COVID-19 is uncertain. Generally, layoffs are only legal if the employment contract gives the employer the right to layoff, and many other job changes, such as reductions in hours or pay, raise the risk of constructive dismissal. We anticipated that at some point the Ontario government may weigh in and change the law – on Friday they did.  

Continue Reading Big Changes for COVID-19 Layoffs in Ontario: New O. Reg 228/20 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Curtails Constructive Dismissal Claims

considerations for employers as the provinces are opening back upThe provinces are opening back up and various guidance has been issued to employers regarding how to do so safely, but the virus still exists and it’s still contagious. Governments who have been encouraging people to stay home are now contemplating how to get people to go out when really conditions regarding the virus have not drastically changed. This juxtaposition will have an impact on workplaces. 

Continue Reading Considerations for Employers as We Return to Work

Can I Afford Legal AdviceHow Can I Afford Legal Advice?

Many employers are facing rock hard choices right now: layoff on shaky legal ground or go bankrupt? Let some employees go, but how to afford termination pay? Offer more than ESA minimums to get a release or risk a claim down the road?

Since early March 2020, we’ve found

resources for employers during COVID-19

Unchartered Workplace Waters

For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented losses in a short period of time.  It has been a time of incredible stress, uncertainty and countless questions about how you can stay afloat, best manage your team and, eventually, rebuild. 

At SpringLaw, we have been navigating

Mandatory Workplace Postings in Ontario - Lisa StamI doubt there is anything more dry than reading a blog post about mandatory workplace government posters, but it’s a mandatory requirement that comes with fines and cranky inspectors if you don’t comply with the requirements. And I will try to make this a short post to minimize the pain.

New OHSA Requirement

As of

This week, Christine Thomlinson wrote a great blog post on the (potential) come-back of Tiger Woods.  She draws a parallel between Tiger’s return to golf and employees returning to work after a difficult period in their life, whether criminal, personal, or otherwise.  As she points out, there are a number of pro-active steps an