News & Publications


Follow the Bouncing Ball: Enforcing Termination Provisions

Written by on February 07, 2018.

Employers need some good news these days, with rising minimum wages, employee-friendly changes to many employment standards, and let’s not even mention the stock market. So I’m happy to share the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Nemeth v. Hatch Ltd. in which a very simple termination provision was upheld. Mr. Nemeth had been employed by Hatch Ltd. for just over 19 years when his employment was terminated without cause. The termination provision in his employment contract sai...

New Changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 Will Affect Calculation of New Year’s Day Holiday Pay

Written by on January 02, 2018.

Happy New Year, everyone! Effective January 1, 2018, the method used for calculating public holiday pay has changed, meaning that the way employers are required to pay qualifying employees for New Year's Day will be different than the method used for calculating Christmas and Boxing Day pay. Prior to January 1, employers calculated public holiday pay by taking the employee's earnings over the previously worked four weeks and dividing that number by 20. Now, employers must base public holiday ...

Bill 148 Poised to Pass Today

Written by on November 22, 2017.

The provincial government went silent throughout much of the fall when Ontarians could expect to have a third reading of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. However, last Thursday, the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs adopted significant amendments to Bill 148. News outlets are reporting this morning that Bill 148 is set for its third reading today. A few new additions have been added to the legislation, including changes to parental leave, to extend its du...

Frustration of Employment Contract: What to Consider Before Throwing in the Towel

Written by on July 31, 2017.

Like any contract, an employment contract can be “frustrated” when continued performance of the contract becomes impossible or would be radically different because of a dramatic change in circumstances. Employers typically raise frustration of contract to formally end the employment relationship with employees who have been away from work for a long time and are unlikely to return. The most common reason an employee is unable to return to work and, therefore, where frustration of contract...

Indecent Proposal? Whether and How to Ask Existing Employees to Sign New Employment Contracts

Written by on June 19, 2017.

Asking existing employees to sign new employment contracts can be a sensitive topic.  Employees will undoubtedly wonder why they are being asked to do so.  Many will quite rightly assume that the employer’s main motive for having new contracts be signed is to protect the employer – not the employee.   Some will sign without issue, while others will refuse to do so.  Others may sign reluctantly, and perhaps feel some ongoing resentment towards the employer for being asked to do so.  Emp...

Change is gonna come: The Changing Workplaces Review Final Report

Written by on May 24, 2017.

More than two years after Ontario’s Minister of Labour initiated it, the Changing Workplaces Review has issued its final report.  And depending on how (or if) the current Liberal government chooses to implement its 173 recommendations, employment in the province could look quite different a year from now.  As the authors describe their work: These changes would benefit workers directly, and employers and society in general.  Employees will benefit from a better workplace and an enhanced ab...

International Women’s Day

Written by on March 08, 2017.

Are you experiencing an abnormally high level of absenteeism among female employees today?  If so, here’s a great article featuring advice from some of our most respected employment law colleagues:

Potential Changes to Employment Legislation May Mean Increased Liability for Franchisors

Written by on February 28, 2017.

The Ontario Changing Workplaces Review’s final report is expected to be delivered in the next few weeks and, if some of the ideas contained in its interim report become law, franchisors may find themselves liable as employers of their franchisees’ employees, regardless of the franchisor’s actual level of control over the workplace. The Review began as a Government of Ontario initiative in early 2015, with the Review’s terms of reference directing two Special Advisors to provide recomm...

Former Employee Successfully Sued for Defamation for Facebook Posts

Written by on February 24, 2017.

In recent years, careless, or let’s say, less than sensible comments on social media have gotten countless employees in trouble with their boss. Employees who have used Facebook as a forum for posting threatening language and vile insults about a supervisor or offensive accusations about the company they work for have quickly been shown the door; and arbitrators and labour boards are often prepared to uphold these dismissals.[1] A new decision from the Court of Quebec[2], however, confirms ...

Unproven Complaints Against Employers Could Soon be Released to the Public

Written by on February 07, 2017.

The Toronto Star has recently started a legal challenge that, if successful, may result in human rights, occupational health and safety, and other complaints made against employers being made public, despite the fact that those allegations are unproven. Most hearings today are not handled by the courts but are instead administered by a collection of boards and tribunals established by the province of Ontario. These agencies were created in order to reduce the number of cases heard by the cour...