Termination of Employment

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

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 May 22, 2020).

Further free resources can be found here.

Should you need legal advice on how to manage

In the wake of Target closing its Canadian doors this month, we have had some of our employer clients asking about the pros and cons of working notice.  The 17,600 employees of Target have received at least 16 weeks of notice each, but many will be expected to work all or part of those 16 weeks rather than receive a lump-sum payment.  As reported in the news, many think they are not getting any “severance” at all. 

To help clear up some of the misperceptions around working notice, here are three key points to consider:


Continue Reading When Can an Employer Give Working Notice?

Yes, this is a crummy subject, for both sides of the issue.  I have yet to meet an employer or HR person who looks forward to that awkward meeting, where they need to pull the plug.  Even amicable separations are full of potential anxiety about how to treat each other fairly, while advocating for oneself.

Here are my top 5 tips for employers who have to do the difficult deed:


Continue Reading How to Fire an Employee

At the end of August, our new law firm will be half a year old.  After a decade of practicing law in other peoples’ firms, I have to say, being the owner of the business is even better than I had expected.  It’s not fewer hours, has just as many (but different) headaches, and the day to day law is no less challenging than being at a big global law firm.

But the difference is, the hours, headaches and challenges are mine to own, and mine to prioritize according to client needs rather than according to big infrastructure timelines and priorities. 

But then there’s all the administrative work.


Continue Reading Employment Contracts (whether you like them or not)

Does racism necessarily lead to a poisoned workplace?

At the end of last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded in General Motors of Canada Limited v Yohann Johnson that while the former employee, Johnson, “genuinely believed that he had been the victim of racism in his workplace” and that his “perception of events unfortunately

Terminating an employee’s employment without cause in Canada comes at a price. The various employment acts and codes set out the requirements for termination notice or pay in lieu of notice (and in Ontario and federal workplaces, severance pay in addition to termination pay). The required termination period will range from 1 to 8 weeks

Recently, a reader asked me whether cutting back the hours of a department of hourly paid employees by about 5 hours a week for a few months would create any problems. She correctly identified constructive dismissal as the issue to consider.

What is Constructive Dismissal?

“Constructive dismissal” is when an employer unilaterally makes such substantial