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Northern Exposure: Employment law for U.S. companies with employees in Canada: By attorneys at Fasken Martineau law firm
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    By Sara Parchello Does an employer have a broad obligation to protect employees from mental distress that may be caused in the workplace? Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently answered this question in Piresferreira v. Ayotte and Bell Mobility Inc. with a resounding “no.” The decision reverses, in part, an award made back in 2008 – […]

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    By Kyla Stott-Jess Canadian employers that fear large jury awards in wrongful dismissal cases can breathe a little easier in the wake of a recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision. In Elgert v. Home Hardware Stores Ltd., the court of appeal said a $500,000 jury award for aggravated and punitive damages in a wrongful dismissal […]

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    By Ralph N. Nero and Keri L. Bennett When is a layoff not a layoff? When it is a constructive dismissal, according to an Ontario judge. McLean v. The Rawyal Limited Partnership reaffirms the principle that unless incorporated as an express or implied term of the employment contract, a layoff may be treated as constructive […]

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    By Keri Bennett Canadian employees may believe that a change in ownership of a company results in a change in the terms of employment and requirement for a new employment contract. Not so. In Whittemore v. Open Text Corporation, the Ontario Superior Court made it clear that the original terms of employment remained valid after […]

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    By Eowynne Noble In 2008, Ontario’s Human Rights Code was revised to specifically permit Ontario courts to award damages for breaches of the Code. Before this, it was only the Human Rights Tribunal that had jurisdiction to award damages for human rights violations in Ontario. Since then, Ontario plaintiffs have made many attempts to obtain […]

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    by Bonny Mak Waterfall and Rachel Younan When a Canadian employer transfers its employee to a non-Canadian entity, is it still on the hook for wrongful dismissal damages? Recently, an Ontario court declined to hear a civil action claiming wrongful dismissal damages from an employee who was transferred to a United States subsidiary of a […]

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    by David McDonald In Canada, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia recently issued a decision narrowing the possibility for employers to use re-employment offers to support an argument that an estranged employee has failed to mitigate damages by refusing to come back to work. In the decision of Fredrickson v. Newtech Dental Laboratory Inc., […]

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    by Shane Todd Disability claims management is never easy. It is particularly difficult when employees refuse to provide enough medical information to substantiate their absence and entitlement to benefits, while also refusing to return to work. The decision in Betts v. IBM Canada Ltd., 2015 ONSC 5298, provides guidance to employers dealing with such cases. […]

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    by Keri Bennett As noted in past articles here, Canadian employees can sue for lack of adequate notice of termination. Fired employees seeking damages for inadequate notice have a corresponding duty to mitigate or minimize any resulting losses. If other work is available, their losses may be minimal. Employees frequently claim a lack of available […]

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    by Shane Todd In an attempt to their limit severance exposure, employers often require that an employee be “actively employed” on the bonus payment date in order to be eligible to earn a bonus. The idea being that the severance payable to a dismissed employee would not have to take into account an employee’s bonus […]

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    by Keri Bennett In Canada, courts can award two extraordinary forms of damages in a wrongful dismissal action: aggravated damages or punitive damages. In a wrongful dismissal action, employees who are terminated for cause often claim that they should be awarded aggravated and/or punitive damages in addition to reasonable notice damages. In a recent decision […]

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    by Hannah Roskey Off-duty misconduct could lead to an employee’s dismissal. But a recent court decision in Ontario suggests that the circumstances where that will amount to just cause for termination are quite limited. The court found that an employee who had been fired after being criminally charged with sexual assault was wrongfully dismissed. The […]

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    by Hannah Roskey An employee who was repeatedly sexually harassed by her coworker sued her employer after being terminated. In addition to normal damages for wrongful dismissal she was awarded $60,000 for “moral damages” by the trial judge, plus damages for the employer’s violation of human rights laws. In Doyle v. Zochem Inc., 2017 ONCA […]

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    by Stefan Kimpton Employers don’t often enough think about the consequences of a heat-of-the-moment resignation. It is generally assumed that when an employee says “I quit” or storms out of the workplace, the employment relationship has come to an end and the employer owes no further obligations to the employee. Think again. As a recent […]

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    by Jacqueline Gant For employers shutting down operations, providing working notice is often the best way to reduce severance amounts owed. Except when it’s not. In McLeod v. 1274458 Ontario Inc., an Ontario court confirmed that working notice is appropriate only for employees capable of working during the notice period. Facts The employer sold furniture […]

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    by Julie Robinson Employees in Canada are usually entitled to receive reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice unless fired for cause. But if the employees receive pension or sick leave payments during the notice period, are they entitled to both their regular salary in lieu of notice and such pension or […]