Show all postsFiltered by: Kristin Taylor

A Rare Win for an Employer’s Ability to Drug Test

As Canadian employers and U.S. employers with Canadian subsidiaries well know, the climate in Canada has never been favourable to drug and alcohol testing.  Earlier this month, however, the Supreme Court of Canada endorsed an employer’s decision to terminate the employment of an employee who, post-accident, tested positive for drugs – even after he disclosed that he thought he was addicted to cocaine.  The case is Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal Corp., 2017 SCC 30.

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Ontario Minimum Wage Increase

Ontario is raising the general minimum wage from $11.25 to $11.40 on October 1, 2016.  This is the third consecutive year it has increased.
 

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Court of Appeal Reverses Trial Judge, Finds Cause and Awards Costs to Employer

In the fall of 2014, Justice Lemon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice decided that a private school had wrongfully dismissed a teacher who had committed academic fraud by submitting grades he knew to be inaccurate and then lied about it when confronted.  The decision seemed all the more egregious as, in addition to awarding the teacher 12 months’ salary and benefits, the Court also found the teacher became disabled following the termination of his employment and was entitled to disability benefits in addition to $130,000 of legal costs awarded on a substantial indemnity basis. 

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Less Than Perfect Termination Clause Upheld

As employers have discovered in recent years, although termination clauses are a best practice, former employees will do whatever they can to set them aside following termination.  In many cases, courts have set termination clauses aside, despite the apparent intent of the parties, where they are not drafted perfectly.  A recent case, Wood v. Fred Deeley Imports Ltd., 2016 ONSC 1412 suggests that the very high standard imposed on employers may have lessened somewhat.  

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Court of Appeal approves 26 months' notice for contractors

Last week, Ontario’s highest appellate court dismissed an appeal by Canac Kitchens of a decision awarding two of its contractors each 26 months’ notice. Canac Kitchens has become a notorious litigant for having provided employees with only their minimum statutory entitlements on the closure of its business and having now lost over a dozen cases on what constitutes reasonable notice. 

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The 2016 To Do List for Ontario HR

I am a lover of lists and a new year is definitely the time for lists and resolutions.  My love of lists and the satisfaction of deleting completed tasks has been reinforced by a neuroscience professor who recommends lists to get a more organized and calmer brain. (The short article and podcast link is: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/01/neuroscientist-really-wants-you-to-make-lists.html.) For Ontario HR Practitioners who are similarly inclined, here’s my To Do list for 2016.

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