Rudner Law

At Rudner Law, we recognize that the employment relationship is an interpersonal one, not unlike a marriage. That is true whether we are talking about a multi-national corporation, an owner-operated startup, a family business or a not-for-profit organization. And interpersonal relationships are complicated. We are talking about your livelihood, your business, and the place where you spend most of your day. You want to be sure that you understand your rights and obligations. That’s where we come in.

  Stuart Rudner here with another Rudner Law employment law update. So, how does an employee’s pregnancy factor into the assessment of their severance if they’re let go? We know that the entitlement to notice of dismissal, or pay in lieu as we often call it, severance, is based on many factors. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not based solely upon length of service, so any rule of thumb, like the ever popular one month…
In Marazzato v Dell Canada Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice provided further commentary on the issue of how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact assessments of reasonable notice at common law.  The employee in this case was 59 years old at the time of dismissal and had accrued 14 years of service with the Company in a senior management role. He argued that he should receive an extended notice period as a result…
I hate to say, “I told you so”, but…we have been saying for over a year that employers risk a finding of constructive dismissal when they lay off employees or even impose cuts in hours and/or compensation, even during a pandemic. What is a Constructive Dismissal? As we explain in more detail on the Constructive Dismissal page of our website, Constructive dismissal involves a unilateral and substantial change to a fundamental term of the employment…
In recent years, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) have come to the forefront and its importance became more widely accepted in theory. However, some organizations pay “lip service” to the concept without actually making meaningful changes, and others would like to make a positive difference but aren’t sure how. So what can workplaces do? The following are seven key points for workplaces to consider in implementing EDI efforts: Check your unconscious bias Unconscious bias refers…
In the recent case of Nahum v. Honeycomb Hospitality Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirmed that an employee’s pregnancy is a factor that should be considered when determining reasonable notice upon the termination of their employment. The plaintiff, Ms. Nahum, was employed by the defendant, Honeycomb Hospitality Inc. (“Honeycomb”), as a Director of People and Culture, a human resources position. About four and half months into the role, Ms. Nahum’s employment was…
If a dismissed employee receives Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and then either negotiates additional severance or obtains some through a court award, do they have to pay back the CERB amounts? According to at least one Ontario Judge, the answer is no. Many readers will know that Employment Insurance benefits must be repaid when the recipient receives additional money, by settling or winning a wrongful dismissal claim. Since Employment Insurance benefits are income replacement,…
  Stuart Rudner here with another Rudner Law video employment law update. It’s a fundamental element of the employment relationship: employers direct the employees to carry out their orders and employees are expected to follow them. But if things were that simple, our firm would certainly not be as busy as we are. This vlog was inspired by a very simple question: can you be fired for refusing to do what your boss asks you…
Many Canadian judges are reluctant to find that just cause for dismissal exists, as the consequences for employees are so harsh. However, as we often say, “just cause is not a lost cause.” An employee can be summarily dismissed where an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the employee’s misconduct, its level of seriousness, and the employee’s response to the misconduct makes it clear that the employment relationship cannot be preserved. This was the case in…
Last year, our annual review began this way: As Stuart has often said, “you would think that by now, the law of employment would be relatively settled”. And yet here we are in 2020, and that is still not true. The reality is that the law regarding fundamental issues like contracts and severance continues to evolve and involve a level of uncertainty that can be quite frustrating for those involved. That review was delayed due…
Stuart Rudner here with another Rudner Law video employment law update. So today I want to try to clarify some of the terms that we use in the world of employment law relating to dismissals. Fired, let go, laid off, terminated, furloughed, dismissed, turfed. Those and many more terms are often used interchangeably, but it’s important to understand the different legal scenarios and requirements so you can understand your rights as an employer or an…