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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

“New and improved” approach to summary judgments: The impact on wrongful dismissal litigation

Since I last wrote about the use of summary judgment in wrongful dismissal actions, there have been two significant updates: In January 2014, the Supreme Court revamped the approach to summary judgment motions in Hryniak v. Mauldin; and In the six months since Hryniak, the courts have applied this revamped approach to wrongful dismissal actions,

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Playing nice: How to avoid punitive awards

My mother always told me to play nice. I recall that simple but sage advice when I encounter employers behaving badly (“EBBs”, as I call them). EBBs are employers that act without regard to: a) basic employer obligations, and/or b) common decency vis-à-vis their employees. As revealed by the case law over the years, the

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A litigation primer for employers: what to expect (and what to do) when you’re expecting a wrongful dismissal claim

Litigation is rarely the preferred option for employers, but when an employer and a former employee cannot agree on the terms of a severance package, litigation may be inevitable. As an employer, what can you expect when you’re expecting a wrongful dismissal claim? Here is a high-level overview of the major steps in wrongful dismissal

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All in the family (business): The impact of family ties on an employer’s HR obligations

My grandfather started a small business fifty years ago, a modest par-3 golf course, which my mother, aunts and uncles continue to operate today.  I worked at the golf course during my summer holidays and performed every duty from minding the cash register, serving food, and hurrying slow golfers to picking up garbage.  Even then,

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One-stop shopping for religious accommodation?

Recently, my colleagues and I spoke about the challenges of religious accommodation in the workplace.  While I would describe each of us as reasonably culturally-aware, my colleagues and I professed (innocent) ignorance surrounding the specific products and costs involved in accommodating certain religious requests, such as installing foot-washing stations to facilitate Wudu or providing a

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All’s fair in love and employment: Using lessons in love to help terminated employees

As Valentine’s Day approaches, our minds turn to love, romance and, most importantly, chocolate. For some people, Valentine’s Day is not such a happy time, as it reminds them of elusive or unrequited love. For terminated employees, heartbreak arises not from a lost love, but from a lost job. Like the jilted partner in a

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To summary judgment, or not to summary judgment, that is the question

While employment lawyers do not ponder the same life or death issues as Hamlet in his famous soliloquy, they face difficult issues about how to approach employment litigation. In particular, employment lawyers must consider whether they should bring a summary judgment motion to seek a quick resolution to their clients’ cases or proceed through the

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