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Serious insight for serious situations.

Serious insight for serious situations.

When working notice of termination does not work

Faced with the prospect of significant severance obligations, an employer may choose to give an employee working notice of termination to reduce their monetary liability. Given that the implied contractual requirement at common law is to provide “reasonable notice of termination” (as compared to payment in lieu of notice), an employer is typically entitled to

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Unmasking the veil of privilege in workplace investigations

There is a growing prevalence of workplace investigations in today’s legal landscape.  Conventionally, employers have conducted investigations for two primary reasons: to minimize legal liability to employees who have experienced some form of injury or improper treatment in the workplace (e.g. injury, discrimination, harassment, etc.); and to obtain information that may be relevant to a

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Departing employees gone rogue

Sophisticated information technology systems are rapidly taking over the modern workplace.  With the advent of remote access, cloud-based storage, ghost imaging, and everything in between, employers are increasingly adapting to evolving technological trends to remain competitive in their respective industries. However, the ease with which information can now be accessed and duplicated has presented a

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One cannot both breach and benefit – employer precluded from relying on termination clause it breached

Employers are often advised to act cautiously when dismissing employees, particularly when those employees are subject to enforceable termination provisions.  Hasty decisions to terminate based on unfounded allegations of “just cause”, or careless applications of “without cause” termination provisions, may result in unintended consequences.  Specifically, employers may find themselves: exposed to liability for bad faith,

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Have your bonus preconditions been “sufficiently” communicated to your employees?

In the last few months, there has been an influx of commentary on the enforceability of contractual provisions purporting to limit an employee’s bonus entitlements upon termination.  Following the Ontario Court of Appeal’s seminal decisions in Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc., 2016 ONCA 618 (“Paquette”) and Lin v. Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, 2016 ONCA 619

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The sticky pitfalls of dismissing temporary workers

As the use of temporary workers is increasing, employers must be mindful of one common mistake that may result in significant liability – creating fixed-term contracts (intentionally or unintentionally) without early termination provisions. Depending on the work-related need, temporary workers may be hired for both fixed (advanced agreement as to end date) and indefinite (no

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Human rights: 25 Years in review

Some months ago, I was asked to speak at the Human Resources Professional Association’s HR Law Conference to be held in Toronto on October 20, 2016. My task was to identify the notable developments in workplace human rights over the last 25 years. This was no mean feat. There were so many cases to consider.

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Particular problems with making bald allegations against dismissed employees

As justification for offering reduced termination packages to departing employees, employers often make bald and generalized allegations of misconduct and/or substandard performance. Although this aggressive approach sometimes has its advantages during the preliminary phases of negotiating a termination package, employers may face unintended consequences if the matter subsequently becomes litigious. The Supreme Court of Canada

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