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Published on: 20 Aug 2019 By

We (do not?) have a deal: Mutual agreement on essential terms will make settlement binding

Consider the following scenario. A business gives advance written notice of termination to one of its employees. At the same time, the business delivers to the employee a letter offering a termination package (i.e., a settlement agreement) that exceeds the employee’s minimum entitlements und…

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Published on: 1 Aug 2019 By

Truth or Lies: Providing Employment References

Are you one of the growing numbers of Canadian employers who are reluctant to provide employment references for former employees?  Concerned you are going to be sued by a former employee for defamation if your reference is not positive enough?  Concerned that you are going to be sued for mis…

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Published on: 23 Jul 2019 By

Can an Employee Declare Frustration of the Employment Contract?

More often than not, the employer asserts frustration of the employment contract when an employee is absent on a lengthy medical leave and there is little prospect of a return to work in the foreseeable future.  Employers often want to get these employees “off the books”, even though it mean…

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Published on: 31 May 2019 By

Not-so-breaking news: You may not contract out of the Employment Standards Act, 2000

In a previous blog, I discussed recent cases discussing the enforceability of termination clauses in employment agreements. In Ariss v. NORR Limited Architects & Engineers, 2019 ONCA 449, a Court of Appeal decision released on May 30, 2019, the Court confirmed that employees and employe…

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Published on: 14 May 2019 By

How do the Mass Termination Provisions of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, work?

In Ontario, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), provides for certain rules when an employer terminates at least 50 or more employees in one of its establishments within a 4 week timeframe. In such a situation, the ESA requires that the employer: Provide a more generous provision of n…

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Published on: 9 Apr 2019 By

Bill 66 Changes: Is “less pay for overtime” an accurate headline?

You may have seen this headline last week, and wondered how it will affect your organization. The answer is likely either “not at all” or “not much”. Prior to the passage of Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019, approval from the Director of Employment Standards was req…

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Published on: 21 Mar 2019 By

Divisional Court: employees with mental stress injuries suffered at work must receive benefits though workers’ compensation; may not sue for damages

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (the “WSIA”) is the cornerstone of Ontario’s workers’ compensation system. The basic principle of the WSIA is the “historic compromise” between employees and employers: in exchange for the benefit of no-fault insurance benefits for workplace injuries an…

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Published on: 30 Jan 2019 By

Verbal References: The Truth Shall Set You Free

Some employers are wary about providing references for former employees, fearing a defamation lawsuit. However, a recent decision of the Divisional Court suggests that negative references that are substantially true and provided without malice may not be defamatory. In the trial decision of …

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Published on: 18 Jan 2019 By

Employers: Post and Distribute the Updated ESA Poster

Under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), employers must post a copy of the most recent employment standards poster (“ESA Poster”) prepared by the Ministry of Labour in a “conspicuous place” in the workplace. The Ministry of Labour has just released a new version of the ESA Poster, w…

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