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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

The problem with knee-jerk reactions: A call for consideration before termination

Scientifically known as the patellar reflex, a “knee-jerk reflex” is described by Encyclopaedia Britannica as the “sudden kicking movement of the lower leg in response to a sharp tap on the patellar tendon, which lies just below the kneecap.”  In common language, we refer to knee jerk reactions as “reacting quickly and without thought.” I

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Recruiting the recruiter

Employers often lament that it’s hard to find “good people.” There are a number of ways in which employers seek out “good” employees, including job postings, referrals and third party recruitment.  It is the latter tactic that has put a wrinkle in a number of files I have handled. While third party recruitment is a

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Notice no-nos: Some basic “don’ts” when providing notice of termination

Many of our employer clients are led by sophisticated HR teams and experienced managers who are well-versed in the dos of the termination process: do prepare a termination letter in advance; do consider who should be present in the termination meeting; and do seek advice as to the appropriate length of notice of termination to

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Can a director, officer or shareholder be a “common employer”?

In a recent decision, the Divisional Court considered whether a director, officer or shareholder of a business may be a “common employer” along with the business itself. The implication of this decision is significant, particularly for individuals running closely-held corporations: if he or she is deemed to be a “common employer”, then he or she

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The vaccination debate and the workplace: Implementing mandatory vaccination policies

The vaccination debate has been raging over the last few months. Scientists, doctors, parents and even celebrities have shared their pro and anti-vaccination stances. The “anti-vaxx” controversy has revolved mainly around school-age children and their vulnerability to long-dormant diseases, however the controversy is also salient for employers in the broader workplace context. Last week, a

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Missing the target: Understanding mass terminations and CCAA protection

Over the last few weeks, the news has been dominated by stories of struggling businesses, including Target Canada Co. (“Target Canada”) and the impending mass termination of its employees. Many of these reports have focused on the (subjectively) small “severance packages” these employees are expected to receive. In Ontario, a “mass termination” is one that

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My lips are sealed: The importance of honouring confidentiality obligations following a settlement

One of the main advantages of settling a dispute before a trial is that the parties can agree to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.  In contrast, judges’ decisions form part of the public record and can be easily accessed online. Those decisions include details of the allegations, findings of credibility and findings of

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The Ray Rice scandal and off-duty misconduct: When does off-duty mean off-limits?

As an employment lawyer, I thought I’d heard it all when it comes to employees (allegedly) behaving badly. However, in the last month, the news has simmered with stories about employees (and quasi-employees, like NFL players) behaving in ways that shock even the most seasoned employment lawyer. Beyond the personal shock that we have all

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