Mark Mendl

Latest Articles

In the recent decision of Covenoho v. Pendylum Ltd., 2017 ONCA 284, the Ontario Court of Appeal put an end to any debate about the enforceability of termination provisions in employment agreements that may violate minimum employment standards legislation in the future. The takeaway for employers from the case is as simple as it is noteworthy: a termination provision that breaches minimum employment standards legislation in the future – even if compliant at the time of…
Recently, we discussed employees’ attempts to obtain health plan coverage for medical marijuana (you can find the post here). In the midst of speculation surrounding the Federal government’s soon-to-be-released legislation on recreational marijuana use, one Canadian employer has announced that it will cover prescription cannabis under its employee health benefits plan. Loblaws has taken the lead in this area and will now accept claims from its employees for marijuana prescriptions.…
In a recent decision, Merritt v. Tigercat Industries, 2016 ONSC 1214, an Ontario court held that the employer did not have sufficient cause for dismissing an employee on the basis of his pending criminal charges and allegations by another employee of potentially related conduct, where the employer had failed to carry out a proper investigation into the matter. This case underscores the need to carry out an appropriate investigation before determining that termination, or…
Does the workplace extend into cyberspace?  In a precedent setting decision with potentially far-reaching implications, a labour arbitrator has found an employer liable for failing to protect its workers from harassment and discrimination in customer posts on the employer’s Twitter account (Toronto Transit Commission and ATU, Local 113, 2016 CarswellOnt 10550).  Employers using social media to communicate with clients, customers or the general public may need to rethink how to they respond to uncivil, abusive or threatening…
Catch ’em all!  Pokémon Go is a mobile game that uses “augmented” reality to create a virtual scavenger hunt.  In the quest to catch ’em all, over 15 million people have downloaded the Pokémon Go game since its recent release.  Employers have grappled with employees’ personal use of electronic devices during work hours since gaming fads such as Candy Crush and Draw Something were released.  However, beyond creating a simple distraction in the workplace, the…
Our U.S. colleagues recently wrote a great piece about the long-awaited and much-debated decision of the National Labour Relations Board (the “NLRB”) in Browning-Ferris Industries of California, 362 NLRB No. 186,  (“Browning-Ferris”) which has dramatically changed the concept of “joint employment” south of the border.  U.S. employers who – on the basis of 30 years of NLRB precedent – have operated on the basis that workers supplied by temporary staffing agencies were not their employees…
On June 30, 2015, the Canadian federal government passed a law (“Bill C-377”) requiring unions to publically disclose sensitive financial information within six months of their year-end.  The information will be published on the internet by the Minister of National Revenue. Unless this law is repealed, it will come into force on December 30, 2015.  Unions who fail to comply may be fined $1,000 per day of non-compliance, up to a maximum of $25,000.…
A recent New York Times article about the workplace culture at Amazon has spurred increased debate about the value of so-called “purposeful Darwinism”, in which competitive pressures (both internal and external to the workplace) and grand ambitions foster a cut-throat and gruelling workplace environment that leaves employees struggling to keep up or out in the cold. Being at the top of any field, some would argue, demands this type of attitude and requires employees and…
We rarely think about emergencies before they arrive on our doorstep. Yet, the recent civil unrest in Baltimore has presented another eye-opening reminder that no one can predict how or when an emergency might strike. While it might come as a fire or a flood – rather than a riot – it’s clear that when an unexpected crisis arises, it may take a toll on business. But don’t panic. Remain calm. There is one helpful…
Most employers are familiar with the prohibitions against discrimination that exist in human rights legislation throughout Canada.  At the centre of the legislative web are protections for employees with disabilities which includes the right to equal treatment in employment. But what about employees who do not suffer from disabling conditions and are simply predisposed to serious, or life-threatening, conditions? Where do they fit into the legal framework? What protections, if any, do they have in…