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The terms of a written employment contract can have significant consequences on the employment relationship and each party’s legal entitlements. While some of those terms outline legal rights during employment, other terms remain in force even after the employment relationship ends. Not all terms to an employment contract are created equal however – some may result in significant costs or increased risks for employers and employees. The top three terms to look for in an employment…
What happens when a worker is classified as a contractor, when really they are an employee? When it comes to creating a work relationship, parties will typically enter into an employment relationship by way of an employment agreement. This agreement will come with certain terms such as a schedule, fixed hours, fixed compensation, and other standard employment terms. In addition, employees working for provincially regulated employers will receive protection under the Employment Standards Act, 2000
Employment relationships in Ontario are governed by employment contracts. If there is no written employment contract between an employer and employee, there is a deemed verbal employment agreement at common law.  Whether a written or verbal employment agreement governs an employment relationship can have implications on the terms of employment, including an employee’s termination entitlements and an employer’s express rights such as being able to lawfully layoff an employee.  Some employers allow employees to start…
Sexual harassment in the workplace is an issue that employers should not leave unaddressed. According to Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination based on sex. The definition found in the OHRC outlines that an individual sexually harasses another individual when: Engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker, in a workplace, because of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, where…
Many workplaces have started to release their official policies regarding mandatory vaccinations. Examples of workplaces that are asking for mandatory vaccinations include institutions such as the University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa as well as government entities like City of Toronto and York Region, among others. This article provides an overview about how employees can navigate returning to the workplace if their employer implements a mandatory vaccine policy. What Are Employers Asking For From…
Workplace discipline often challenges both Employers and Employees with conflict and uncertainty. Employees may know that they’re at risk of losing their jobs but don’t always know their rights. Meanwhile Employers need to be sure of their responsibilities to keep any disciplinary measures as fair as possible. Most of these disciplinary measures in a non-unionized workplace will take the form of progressive discipline. What Is Progressive Discipline? Progressive discipline is the process where an Employer…
In recent news, many shared spaces and workplaces implemented mandatory vaccination policies. Even local governments, like the City of Toronto, have mandated vaccination for all their employees for the stated purpose of protecting residents, staff, and the community at large. Many private companies are rumored to be exploring mandatory vaccination policies for their workplaces as well.  Mandatory vaccination in the workplace has been an ongoing concern for both employers and employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.…
Non-unionized employees in Ontario can unfortunately end up forced to deal with a toxic workplace environment at their place of employment. This normally refers to a significant single incident or repeated incidents at the workplace in which continued employment becomes intolerable. Some examples can include repeated incidents of harassment or discrimination that the employer fails to adequately address. Employees forced to work in such workplaces may have questions regarding the options available to them to…
In light of the difficult economic circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some Ontario employers may be considering whether they should fire employees to cut costs. While it may seem cost-effective to terminate employees, employers could be exposing themselves to paying out large sums in severance to those employees and opening themselves to substantial legal fees.  What does “Severance” Really Mean?  Severance is commonly used interchangeably with separation or termination pay but actually refers to the entirety of…
Every employment relationship is governed by an employment contract in some form, whether intentional or not. Unionized workplaces are governed by a collective agreement which applies to all employees who are members of the union. For non-unionized employees, an employment contract can either be written or verbal, with an implied verbal agreement existing in the absence of a written agreement. Given the importance of the employment contract to the employment relationships between non-unionized employers and…