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Published on: 20 Jan 2020 By

When is an investigation “appropriate in the circumstances”?

Every investigator has had one of “those” files. Allegations are abundant, historical, and/or about things like “he walked past me once without speaking to me.” Can an investigator refuse to look into allegations if they are ancient? What if they wouldn’t constitute harassment even if they c…

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Published on: 16 Jan 2020 By

Are employees “off-ramping” from your organization?

When employees experience personal trauma, challenging transitions in the workplace, difficult relationships with managers, etc., some of them will choose to “off-ramp,” a term referring to those who voluntarily resign or reduce their working hours. Many employers will be familiar with an em…

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Published on: 25 Nov 2019 By

Public Holiday Pay: Is Your Absent Employee Entitled To It?

Section 26 of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) outlines an employer’s compensation obligation towards their employees when a public holiday falls on a regular work day. In order to be entitled to public holiday pay, the employee must pass the “Last and First Rule” – which req…

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Published on: 20 Nov 2019 By

Under Suspicion: Top 10 Tips for Conducting a Workplace Investigation

Workplace investigations are an important process in any workplace. In some cases they are required by legislation and in others they are just good practice. Before conducting your own internal workplace investigation, be sure you have considered all of the points below. 1. Pick an investiga…

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Published on: 15 Nov 2019 By

Can employers ask job-applicants if they are eligible to work in Canada on a “permanent basis”? That’s the $120k question.

As a part of their job-application process, many employers ask applicants a question about the applicant’s ability or eligibility to work in Canada. Depending on the exact wording of that question, it may violate the Human Rights Code (the “Code”). Such a violation could be costly. In 2018, …

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Published on: 11 Oct 2019 By

Court: illegality of “for cause” termination provision in employment agreement does not taint distinct “without cause” termination provision

An Ontario summary judgment decision released October 3, 2019 has confirmed that an enforceable “without cause” termination clause is not unenforceable on the sole basis that, elsewhere in the employment contract, the “for cause” termination clause violates the Employment Standards Act, 2000…

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Published on: 2 Oct 2019 By

Ontario court: purchaser in asset transaction cannot rely on release between employee and seller

“Privity of contract” is a common law tradition. The rights and obligations imposed by contracts are private – strangers to the contract generally have no entitlement to enforce such rights or obligations. But what happens when the employee of the seller of a business sues the buyer for wron…

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Published on: 23 Sep 2019 By

Risky Business: Alleging Cause if You Don’t Have It

So you have a problem employee that you want to terminate.  Your employment lawyer reminds you that you would owe nothing to the employee in a “for cause” termination, but that it’s unlikely that you could prove cause in the circumstances.  She then goes on to assess your common law reasonab…

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Published on: 19 Sep 2019 By

Beyond “9 to 5”: Understanding Ontario’s Overtime Rules

Aside from some “tweaks”, not much has changed when it comes to the Ontario’s overtime rules[1] in many years.  Why then do I see so much employer non-compliance?  Are employers unaware of their overtime rights and responsibilities?  Or do they simply choose not to comply and hope no one com…

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