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Published on: 18 Jul 2016 By

A Break for Employers on Termination Clauses

Finally! The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a termination clause in an employment contract that did NOT reference benefit continuation (when indeed there were benefits) or severance (when the employer had a payroll of $2.5 million or more and the employee qualified for the severance payment …

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Published on: 14 Jul 2016 By

The Virtual Office: Working From Home Considerations

With the advancement of technology, employers looking to cut overhead costs, and family and lifestyle accommodations growing, working from home is becoming more and more common. However, there are some considerations that must be explored before such practices are approved. Policies If emplo…

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Published on: 8 Jul 2016 By

The Safety Dance: Right to Refuse Work Under Health and Safety Legislation

The Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) provides workers with a number of rights, including the right to refuse work that is “likely to endanger” the worker.[1] When a work refusal occurs there are a number of procedures outlined in the legislation that must be followed and, …

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Published on: 29 Jun 2016 By

“MEAN GIRLS”: Bill 132 and the OHSA

It has been six years since Bill 168 amended Ontario’s Occupational Health & Safety Act to require employers to take steps to prevent and to deal with bullying and harassment in the workplace.  Since that time, we have come to realize that there were gaps – some would say flaws – in the…

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Published on: 17 Jun 2016 By

The Importance of Properly Conducting Workplace Investigations

If not done properly, conducting a workplace investigation can be costly. This lesson was learned by the Royal Bank of Canada in Lau v. Royal Bank of Canada[1]. Mr. Lau was an account manager at one of RBC’s Vancouver branches. A customer of Mr. Lau’s filed a complaint about the manner in wh…

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Published on: 13 Jun 2016 By

“Comfortably Numb”: Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Traditionally, Canadian courts and arbitrators have upheld discipline against employees who have disobeyed company policies by using or possessing marijuana[1] on company premises. There has generally been no need for the employee to have engaged in dangerous conduct, so long as the employee…

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Published on: 6 Jun 2016 By

Don’t FALL into trouble with the Ministry of Labour this summer!

It’s summer and the livin’ may be easy if you’re on vacation.  But if you’re at work, you’d better be working safely! The Ministry of Labour is running a blitz from May 16th until July 15th, focusing attention on falls from height.  They’ve warned us that they “will be taking a no tolerance …

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Published on: 27 May 2016 By

Double Jeopardy Also Applies to Employee Discipline

I recently came across the Ontario decision of Garreton v. Complete Innovations Inc.[1] from earlier this year.  While an interesting read for a number of employment reasons, it is a good reminder to employers that “double jeopardy” also applies to employee discipline. The relevant facts in …

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Published on: 5 May 2016 By

Recent Case Highlights Importance of Severability Clauses in Employment Agreements

Most employers want simple, friendly hiring documents that are easy to understand and don’t look like they were drafted by lawyers.  Trust me – I get it! To achieve this goal, employers sometimes want to remove important legal clauses from their offer letters or employment agreements.  Most …

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