What Ontario employers need to know about ‘mitigation’

by Sheryl Johnson

Lake v. La Presse (2018) and its recent appeal help shed light on the subject. Photo credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki   When we speak of wrongful dismissal damages, assuming there are no contractual provisions limiting such damages or their calculation, we speak of an employee’s “reasonable notice entitlements” under the common law. Such “entitlements” amount to […]

To grieve or not to grieve?

by Sheryl Johnson

 In choosing arbitration over an OHRT hearing, an employer must consider speed and expense. Photo credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki   The standard process in Ontario for well over a decade is for the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) to defer human rights applications pending the completion of a labour arbitration for unionized employees. If the substance […]

Holiday parties: making your lists and checking them twice

by Sheryl Johnson

Are you an employer looking to throw a company party this holiday season? Read on. Photo credit: Pexels/Kampus Production   With the opening up of COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings, many workplaces are looking forward to celebrating together the upcoming holiday season and the ability to socially gather like it was 1999. Putting aside caution […]

Employers beware: how a termination is conducted just as important as why

by Sheryl Johnson

Breaching the ESA’s post-termination payment schedule can now lead to moral and punitive damage awards in wrongful dismissal cases, as the recent Pohl v. Hudson’s Bay Company case described below demonstrates.     There are specific rules for the payment of termination and/or severance pay under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 and its regulations (collectively […]

Volunteer or employee? Employers beware of volunteer misclassifications

by Sheryl Johnson

The Ontario Superior Court recently ordered Toronto-based student travel firm S-Trip to pay a group of former staff $450,000 after misclassifying the workers as ‘volunteers’, when in reality they should have been categorized and compensated as ‘employees’. Photo credit: Twitter/S-Trip   Are you part of an organization that relies on volunteers? Many not-for-profit corporations such […]

Employers must not solely rely on the self-interested decision making of their insurance companies when making very important employment decisions. One such decision is when the employment contract is “frustrated”.    After a five-week trial in the Ontario Superior Court case of Baker v. Blue Cross, on Jun. 24, 2022 a Toronto jury granted the […]

Will the detonator be set?

by Sheryl Johnson

 If and when the deemed IDEL ends it will be a game changer for employers, employees, and the courts in Ontario, as the detonator will be set for both parties to assess the viability of their ongoing employment relationship. Photo credit: Pexels/Sora Shimazaki   As you may recall from my earlier articles, there is paid […]

A sign of the times?

by Sheryl Johnson

Two recent divergent decisions regarding Alectra Utilities’ and FCA Canada’s ability to uphold mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace underscore the need for organizations in Ontario to re-examine and, if necessary, update their respective policies. Photo credit: Twitter/Alectra Utilities    Labour arbitrators remain the frontline decision-makers regarding workplaces and how they balance the needs of […]

To be or not to be a case of constructive dismissal: that remains the question

by Sheryl Johnson

A recent Court of Appeal case involving a laid off Tim Hortons assistant manager failed to shed new light on whether pandemic-related layoffs or IDEL constitute constructive dismissal at common law.    In Ontario employers and their counsel have been waiting for a decision from the Courts to provide guidance and some certainty on whether […]

Establishing a framework for similar scenarios in the future, the Ontario Superior Court recently dismissed a judicial review application challenging the implementation of McMaster University’s mandatory vaccination policy. Photo credit: McMaster University    Recently in Michalski v. McMaster University the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a challenge to the Hamilton university’s mandatory vaccination policy by […]

Turning the other cheek

by Sheryl Johnson

A recent Ontario Court of Appeal workplace misconduct case involving a tap/slap on the buttocks of a female employee by a male manager yields interesting result, sets new precedent.    Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited (2022 ONCA 310) is a recent Ontario Court of Appeal (“OCA”) that has set a new and surprising precedent. […]

Important legislative updates for employers

by Sheryl Johnson

 The recent passing of the Working for Workers Act, 2022 and Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022 means certain Ontario employers will have to add and implement various changes in the coming months. Photo credit: Pexels/Cottonbro   Working for Workers Act, 2022 First and further to my previous article last month, on April 7, 2022 […]

On Mar. 22, 2022, an Ontario arbitrator upheld the Toronto District School Board’s mandatory vaccination policy, maintaining it did not infringe section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and CUPE, Local 4400 case is the first arbitration award in Ontario […]

One change involves disclosure requirements around electronic monitoring of employees. Photo credit: Pexels/Thirdman As I have previously noted, the pandemic has had a significant impact on how and where we work.   Prior to the pandemic remote work was the exception, not the rule.   Following employers and employees needing to pivot to remote work during the […]

Amongst several other changes, Bill 88 would guarantee “gig workers” – such as Uber drivers and DoorDash delivery people – a minimum wage, tip protection, and dispute resolution rights. Photo credit: Pexels/Norma Mortensen On the heels of the passage of the Working for Workers Act, 2021, Ontario introduced Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022 on February 28, 2022, […]

What employers can expect when most of Ontario’s restrictions are lifted next week

by Sheryl Johnson

Photo credit: Government of Ontario What has changed? On Valentine’s Day 2022 many retailers, restauranteurs, and employers in the hospitality and tourism sectors hearts fluttered when the government of Ontario shared the decision to lift the following two public health measures if public health and health system indicators continue to improve effective March 1, 2022: […]

When it comes to non-competes, in with the new does not mean out with the old

by Sheryl Johnson

Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. Minister McNaughton introduced the Working for Workers Act, 2021 at the end of last year. The act, amongst other legislative changes, banned the use of non-compete agreements. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn   With the passing of Ontario’s Working for Workers Act, 2021 (“WWA”) on Dec. […]

Practically speaking: COVID-19 mandatory vaccination policies

by Sheryl Johnson

Port of Hamilton, where vegetable oil refiner Bunge manufactures and ships its product. An arbitrator recently upheld the company’s workplace vaccination policy that does not allow alternatives to inoculation, such as frequent testing. Photo credit: HOPA Ports   As we get reset to re-open under the Ontario government’s three-phased reopening plan commencing Jan. 31, 2022, […]

Caution: employers need to avoid COVID-19 fatigue too

by Sheryl Johnson

Photo credit: Calm for Business   Given that we are in the fourth wave of the pandemic, greater expectations will be placed on employers to get their responses to the pandemic right.   Meaning, employers are expected to be more than well familiar with and used to the occupational health and safety, and as applicable, public […]

One of the measures includes the closure of schools. Photo credit: CTV News Toronto   So far in 2022 there are a number of COVID-19 response measures employers, businesses, and organizations alike in Ontario need to be aware of as we move forward.   Current Phase of Our Roadmap to Reopening Effective Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 […]

Major discussions and developments in Ontario employment law in 2021: year in review

by Sheryl Johnson

The institution of mandatory vaccination policies in the workplace was perhaps the most talked about development in Ontario employment law this year. Photo credit: Canadian Lawyer Magazine   The first three areas of employment law examined below have been much discussed throughout 2021; the last two areas involve new developments – the first on a […]

The mythical construction industry ‘open period’

by Sheryl Johnson

Just longer than the cycle for a lunar eclipse, the construction industry’s “open period” occurs under the Ontario Labour Relations Act (the “Act”) every three years for two months. Given that the majority of collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) in the construction industry expire on April 30, 2022, the upcoming “open period” will be from March […]

Local

  • Politics

  • Sports

  • Business