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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

“Draconian” termination provision found enforceable

With an introductory paragraph that reads like a soap opera, the recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Kielb v. National Money Mart Company quickly caught my attention. As summarized by Justice Akhtar, This case involves allegations of broken promises, ambiguous clauses and inequitable treatment and, at its heart, a contract that

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Five strategies for reducing workers’ compensation costs in Ontario

In my experience, many employers struggle to navigate the complex policies and procedures of Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”), and sometimes miss opportunities to achieve cost-savings and improve efficiencies in claims management.  With a view to assisting Ontario employers in reducing their workers’ compensation claims costs, I offer the following five strategies: Join

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Oppression remedy may leave corporate directors liable for unpaid wages and constructive dismissal damages

In a recent blog, we observed that directors, officers and shareholders may be deemed to be “common employers” together with corporations; and that in certain circumstances, owners and operators may be “on the hook” for claims by employees and former employees. By way of another recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, director

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Beer may create a workplace hazard, even if it isn’t consumed

Alcohol use in the workplace has been the subject of significant discussion by employment lawyers and Canadian jurists in recent years. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada held, in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., that employers do not have an automatic right to impose

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Occupational health & safety update: What federally regulated employers need to know about recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code

As of October 31, 2014, several amendments to the occupational health and safety (“OHS”) provisions of the Canada Labour Code (the “Code”) came into effect. Those amendments may have significant implications for federally-regulated organizations, particularly inasmuch as Parliament has now transferred statutory authority from “a health and safety officer” directly to the Minister of Labour,

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WSIB announces new and revised policies, effective November 1, 2014

Following a two-year policy review process, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) has recently published several new and revised policies, all of which became effective as of November 1, 2014. The review initiative came in response to challenges associated with determinations of “work-relatedness” and with the adjudication of claims involving pre-existing conditions; and indeed

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Is health and safety “competence” required for promotion in your organization? If not, it should be!

When evaluating employees for promotion, or when hiring for supervisory positions, employers typically give careful consideration to candidates’ qualifications to perform the substantive elements of the role – i.e. educational background, work experience, personal achievements and the like. That said, one factor that is often overlooked is the candidate’s knowledge of and familiarity with (i)

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Limiting termination entitlements in employment contracts: What is enforceable and what is not?

Before an employment relationship commences, perhaps the last thing that either workplace party wants to talk about is how it will end. That said, it is usually beneficial for employers to ensure that the offer letter (or employment contract) outlines all terms of employment, including the employee’s entitlements upon termination. There is employment standards legislation

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