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The Canadian government offers regular employment insurance benefits, better known as EI, to people who are out of work. EI provides temporary payments to people who meet certain conditions. But what happens to employment insurance when you quit? If you were terminated from your job with cause, or if you quit your job, you are generally not entitled to EI benefits. Conditions to Qualify for EI To be eligible for EI, you must meet certain…
While most employees can be terminated and provided with the appropriate termination notice or pay-in-lieu, different rules apply to fixed-term employees. This article provides an analysis of McGuinty v. 1845035 Ontario Inc. (McGuinty Funeral Home), 2019 ONSC 4108, and outlines the dangers associated with cancelling a fixed-term contract early. About one year ago, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded an employee $1.27 million after he was constructively dismissed almost 1 year into his 10-year…
What Is a Retainer Agreement? In Ontario, if you hire a lawyer, you will most likely be asked to enter into a retainer agreement. A retainer agreement is a common way for lawyers and legal professionals to outline the essential terms of the services provided, including the parties to the agreement and their obligations. This article outlines the various types of retainer agreements and what you can expect. The content of a retainer agreement varies…
An online search for tools to calculate an employee’s severance pay will bring up multiple “calculators” to determine severance pay entitlements upon termination. Yet, many of these tools are misleading and provide an inaccurate estimate of an employee’s actual entitlements upon termination. What is Severance Pay? Before exploring the limits of a severance pay calculator, it is important to clarify the meaning of the term “severance pay”. “Severance pay” is sometimes used to refer to…
With all that has happened in 2020, it can be easy to forget changes introduced earlier in the year. This article outlines the earlier amendments to the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”), which came into force on January 1, 2021. This article also covers the newly introduced government policy document to assist in interpreting the CLC amendments. Regulation on Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (Regulations) In June 2020, the Canadian government introduced new amendments to the…
Running a business has its challenges, from daily operations to big transitions within an organization. But what happens when problems occur with employees? The result can be a lengthy legal battle resulting in litigation. Not only do companies end up losing an abundance of resources such as time, cost, and manpower, concerns with employees also affect the organization at large. Such problems often result in decreased morale and motivation throughout the organization, and lower retention…
Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the “Code”), organizations have the ultimate responsibility to maintain a discrimination-free environment. An employer may be found vicariously liable for discriminatory conduct within the workplace even if they were unaware of the conduct or did not condone it. Vicarious Liability Under section 46.3 of the Code, where an employee or agent engages in discriminatory behaviour in the course of their employment, the organization will be held vicariously liable for the…
On Monday January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, issued a letter to all employers in the City of Toronto that are permitted to open under the Reopening Ontario Act., which, among other requirements, changes the reporting obligations for Toronto employers regarding COVID-19 cases within their workplace. This 4-page Letter of Instruction (“Instructions”) sets out additional measures that Toronto employers are required to take when it comes to: Notification…
Terminating an employee is not enjoyable for anyone involved. It requires planning and professionalism to handle the experience with tact. It can be an emotionally charged situation as the employee is placed in a vulnerable position. Employers should seek legal advice before terminating an employee to ensure they are following best practices and to pre-empt any adverse reactions, including a legal action. Be Careful when Alleging Cause Where an employee is terminated for cause,…
While COVID-19 vaccines appear to be on the horizon, the virus remains a reality for many businesses across Ontario. For employees, the possibility of contracting COVID-19 continues to exist, and workplaces remain obligated to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees. Considering the nature of the virus, employees who are employed at a business that is continuing to operate during this time have a risk of contracting the virus due to being exposed to…