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The Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) prohibits discrimination in employment. However, the Code does not prohibit general bullying and harassment in employment. A successful claim of bullying and harassment at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) requires an applicant show that one of the prohibited grounds of the Code was a factor in the bullying and harassment (i.e. race, age, sex, disability, etc.). Thus, whenever faced with a bullying and harassment Application at the…
Employment Contracts: Key Clauses Employers in Ontario should require employees to sign an employment contract before starting work. These agreements usually define the employee’s earnings, the employer’s policies, restrictive covenants such as non-competition or non-solicitation clauses and, most importantly, what happens in the event of termination. If employees do not sign an employment contract, they still have an implied agreement with their employer in that they are bound to the “common law” rather than defined…
In Ontario, a lay-off can be no longer than 13 weeks. Under section 56(2) of the Employment Standards Act, if the lay-off is longer than 13 weeks, then the employee becomes terminated. In that case, the employee is likely entitled to pay in lieu of notice and severance. However, in rare circumstances, a lay-off can be longer than 13 weeks. In that regard, a lay-off can be up to 35 weeks if one of…
Employment standards laws in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia prescribe minimum overtime pay, minimum statutory holiday pay, minimum vacation pay and minimum wage. Refer below for a basic summary of the amount Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia employers must pay their employees for overtime pay, statutory holiday pay, vacation pay and minimum wage as per their provincial employment standards legal requirements. Note however, there are countless special caveats and regulations which may apply altering these…
If you landed on this blog post, you are probably looking to retain an employment lawyer or employment law firm, and you are doing your due diligence. Good for you. Never hire a lawyer without doing research. You need to be meticulous. If you are an employee, you are trusting someone with one of the biggest issues you have ever had in your life. If you are an employer, you are trusting someone to efficiently…
Wrongful Dismissal Definition Wrongful dismissal means a claim made by an employee that their employer has breached their employment agreement with regard to those terms and conditions concerning employment termination. The following are a list of examples of wrongful dismissal claims. Wrongful Dismissal Example 1: Not enough severance If an employee is not provided enough severance, it is a wrongful dismissal. Thus, the question becomes, how much severance is an employee entitled to? Read our…
There are three types of working relationships: (1) employer-employee; (2) contractor-independent contractor, and (3) contractor-dependent contractor. All three are treated differently vis-à-vis employment rights. Importantly, only employees and dependent contractors get severance. Independent contractors do not get severance. However, as this blog post makes clear, a worker’s time spent as an ‘independent contractor’ may be considered in calculating severance if the worker was hired later as an ‘employee’. Cormier v. 1772887 Ontario Limited c.o.b. as…
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.…