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Corporate Lawyers

A Costly Lesson in How Not to Conduct a Workplace Harassment Investigation

Written by on November 14, 2017.

It seems that everywhere we look these days, sexual harassment is on the radar – whether in Hollywood, the CBC or in our own workplaces. Recent changes to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act now require investigations to be conducted by employers into all incidents or complaints of harassment. In a decision released by the Ontario Court of Appeal in October of this year, an employer received a costly lesson on ignoring claims of workplace harassment and conducting an inept harassmen...

What do the New Extended EI Parental Benefits Mean for Employers? Are you Ready for December 3rd?

Written by on November 10, 2017.

She's having a baby! In March 2017, the federal government announced its intention to extend employment insurance parental benefits to 18 months. This change takes effect on December 3, 2017. While many Canadian employers are not thrilled with this change, it's not all bad news. Same Total Maximum EI Benefits Parents currently receive up to 50 weeks of employment insurance benefits when they take time off work because of pregnancy, childbirth or adoption. The maternity benefit - paid...

Federal Government Releases Report on Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace

Written by on November 06, 2017.

Recently, the federal government released the results of a year-long series of consultations with unions, employer organizations, federal government departments and agencies, academics, and advocacy groups on the subject of workplace harassment and violence. The consultation process also involved a public online survey, with over 1200 respondents providing information. The Report, titled “Harassment and Sexual Violence in the Workplace Public Consultations: What We Heard”, includes anecdo...

Upcoming AODA Deadlines and Workplace Related Requirements to Date

Written by on November 01, 2017.

As the end of the year approaches, and with it the deadline for many businesses to file their Accessibility Compliance Report, it seems as good a time as any to review the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (the “AODA”) and confirm your organization’s compliance. More on that in a minute. Assuming your business is totally up to date on your AODA obligations, don’t forget that two more deadlines are coming up: By December 31, 2017, all larger organizations (20+ empl...

What the Cost of Your Training Kit Says About Your Multi-Level Marketing Company

Written by on October 18, 2017.

For aspiring multi-level marketing ("MLM") or direct selling ("DS") companies, a positive written opinion by Canada's Competition Bureau is an important first step in the operational success of their business. However, early decisions in the pricing of "starter kits" or "training kits" can jeopardize that opinion and derail their business before it ever gets to market. In order to protect Canadian consumers from unscrupulous businesses, the Competition Bureau enumerates a number of requiremen...

$500 Million Tim Hortons Class Action – A Warning for Franchisors Administrating Ad Funds

Written by on August 28, 2017.

Tim Hortons is the largest franchise system in Canada by number of franchised locations, operating with approximately 3,500 units nationally. Accordingly, any legal action relating to the business makes waves in the franchise community and serves as a warning to other franchisors. On June 19, 2017, an Ontario-based Tim Hortons franchisee filed a $500 million class action lawsuit (the “Claim”) against its franchisor, its franchisor’s parent, the company that distributes its advertising f...

Just Cause: All’s Well That Ends Well, But in the Meantime…

Written by on August 23, 2017.

It’s not news to readers of this blog that proving just cause for the dismissal of an employee is a high hurdle. Our clients also know that we usually recommend the continuation of a dismissed employee’s group benefits during negotiations post-dismissal.  Now there’s a case to highlight the important connection between these two principles. Remy Fernandes was a teacher at Mississauga Private School for 10 years, but not a good one. At trial, the judge found that Mr. Fernandes had: deli...

EU-US Privacy Shield Framework – Does it Apply to Your Business?

Written by on August 21, 2017.

Background In late 2015, the highest court in the European Union invalidated the Safe Harbor data-transfer framework that ruled over the transmission of personal data between the EU and U.S. for approximately 15 years. The European Court of Justice held that the U.S. government’s repeated and surreptitious access to the data of EU residents violated EU privacy rules and invalidated the agreement. In response, the European Commission and the U.S. Government negotiated a new framework for tr...

Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – Does it Apply to Your Business?

Written by on August 18, 2017.

The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (“CCPSA”) has the stated purpose of protecting the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada, including those products that are imported.[1] The legislation defines a “danger to human health or safety” as an unreasonable hazard, either existing or potential, that is posed by a consumer product during its use or as a result of its normal or foreseeable use that may have an ad...

Going to Court in Ontario: Selecting the Proper Jurisdiction to Commence Your Claim

Written by on August 17, 2017.

Summary This article provides a comparative review of the two venues to commence your legal action in Ontario. Overview If you have suffered a wrong (i.e. breach of contract) you may commence a legal proceeding in an Ontario court. You may do so in Small Claims Court (“SCC”) or in the Superior Court of Justice (“SCJ”). This article provides a comparison of both procedural paths and concludes with the benefits and drawbacks of each. The substantive law (i.e. the interpretation of...