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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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Published on: 7 Jan 2019 By

Uber Decision Calls into Question Arbitration Clauses in Commercial Agreements

The news media has widely reported the Ontario Court of Appeal’s January 3, 2019 decision allowing a class-action by Uber drivers to proceed. The decision does not answer the question of whether Uber (and UberEATS) drivers should be considered employees or independent contractors (a conclusi…

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Published on: 4 Jan 2019 By

Employers: Consider these Sample New Year’s Resolutions

With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to reflect on your business’s labour relations and start tackling those items on your “to-do” list. Here are three sample New Year’s resolutions that may benefit your business: 1. Revise your template employment contract, if necessary One of…

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Published on: 19 Dec 2018 By

Enforceability of Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts – Trending towards Clarity, or More Uncertainty?

It is a basic principle of employment law in Ontario that employees terminated without cause are presumed to be entitled to common law reasonable notice of termination unless the parties clearly agreed to a different notice period, typically through a termination clause in an employment agre…

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Published on: 14 Nov 2018 By

Bill 47 – Amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995

The legislation governing unionized workplaces in Ontario, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “LRA”) will be amended by the Ontario government if the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018 (“Bill 47”) passes in its current form.  Expected changes will include the following: Repeal of Un…

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