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Employment contracts outline an employee and employer’s agreed upon terms and conditions, usually at the very least salary and job description.  However, it is a best practice for both parties, especially at the at the executive level, to include more than just salary and job description. Executive employment contracts are in fact usually different from non-executive employment contracts in that they generally include terms and conditions that are not typically contemplated by the parties to…
In Canada, a requirement to conduct a workplace investigation is triggered in case of harassment, sexual harassment or violence. What then is required of such a workplace investigation? In short, a “reasonable” investigation is required. What are the requirements of a “reasonable” workplace investigation? It is impossible to say for certain what is required in each and every workplace investigation. Some cases call out for more while other cases call out for less stringent requirements.…
In Canada, a requirement to conduct a workplace investigation is triggered in case of harassment, sexual harassment or violence. What then is required of such a workplace investigation? In short, a “reasonable” investigation is required. What are the requirements of a “reasonable” workplace investigation? It is impossible to say for certain what is required in each and every workplace investigation. Some cases call out for more while other cases call out for less stringent requirements.…
The right to accommodation at work in Canada is not absolute. Employers can terminate or suspend disabled employees. Employers only have an obligation to accommodate disabled employees up to “undue hardship”. Thus, the question becomes, what is undue hardship? Undue hardship is a fluid, case-by-case contextual examination of any of number of factors that measure the burden of accommodation versus the reasonable ability of the employer to make the accommodation. The most oft cited factors…
Is everyone entitled to severance pay? Generally, everyone in Canada (except construction workers) are entitled to severance pay regardless of how long they worked or how big their employer is. This is because all Canadian employees are entitled to common law severance, which provides a range of around two and half months’ severance up to thirty-six months’ severance depending on several factors. The only time employees are not entitled to common law severance…
When is an employer’s duty to conduct a workplace investigation triggered? Generally, whenever there is a complaint of violence, harassment or sexual harassment in the workplace, an employer must conduct a workplace investigation. Note – this article will not discuss the scope or requirements of any workplace investigation. Rather, this article will simply discuss when an employer must conduct a workplace investigation. Workplace Violence Under the common law, and specifically under Sections 25(2)(h) and 32.0.5…
In addition to paying base salary over the reasonable notice period (i.e. the severance period), must an employer pay an employee their usual commissions over the reasonable notice period? Yes, an employer is generally required to pay commissions over the whole reasonable notice period if the mode of remuneration of an employee usually includes commissions and the employee would likely have earned these commissions had he worked the reasonable notice period. How do the courts…
A performance improvement plan or “PIP” is a document that employers give to employees that can serve a mixture of two goals: (1) actually helping the employee improve and/or (2) building a case to terminate the employee. Frist, a PIP helps an employee improve by setting out what is expected, what the employee is doing wrong and how to fix it going forward. Second, a PIP documents evidence of an employee’s misconduct or performance issues,…
What is a non-competition clause? A non-competition (or non-compete) clause is a passage in an employment contract which purports to prohibit employees from working for another employer or starting their own business which competes with their employer during and after employment. Without a non-compete clause, there is no prohibition against an employee competing with his or her former employer. Unlike non-solicitation and confidentiality covenants, a non-compete clause will not be implied into an employment contract.…
Small to medium sized Ontario businesses faced with the termination of a relatively long-standing employee sometimes google how much severance they have to pay. This is a trap that leads down the slippery slope of “severance pay calculators”. Indeed, googling “how much severance” and the like leads to no less than three different severance pay calculators on the first page. These severance pay calculators are not employer friendly. They were created by employee-side employment law…