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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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Published on: 9 Sep 2019 By

Termination Clause Update: The Unclear Impact of Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc., 2019 ONCA 679

I have previously discussed the enforceability of termination clauses in former blog posts, available here and here. In short, a long history of inconsistent and amorphous case law has created significant uncertainty among lawyers attempting to advise their clients about whether a given term…

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Published on: 30 Aug 2019 By

What can you ask for in a medical certificate?

Many employers have often had the experience of receiving a vague doctor’s note from an employee that reads something along the lines of, “this individual is unable to work for X weeks”. Employers are left wondering: Why? Can I be sure this is legitimate? Is the employee likely to return aft…

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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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