Contract Clarity Serves Employers Well

Traditionally, it has been difficult to convince courts to enforce termination clauses in employment contracts. This has been particularly difficult in the Province of Ontario. Commenters have suggested that most of the difficulty for employers stems from the fact...

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Investigation is the New Arbitration

By Harry Gray and Gavin Marshall Beware the misuse of the due process tool in your workplace management toolbox. Investigations are the new arbitration. More and more, the legal expectation is that a flavour of judicial objectivity, in the form of...

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Non-Culpable or Innocent Absenteeism

By James D. Kondopulos and Gosia Piasecka In the recent arbitration decision of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority v. Hospital Employees’ Union (Termination for Non-Culpable or Innocent Absenteeism), B.C.C.A.A.A. No. 112, arbitrator John Sanderson, Q.C. upheld a grievor’s dismissal for...

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A Caveat on Contractors: Beware the Bite of the Unicorn?

By Graeme McFarlane Ah, the true independent contractor—the rarest of all the beasts. In the jungle of employment law, it is sought after for its rich cost savings, lower head counts and workplace efficiencies. If only all businesses could have...

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Don’t Dis(miss) the Devil in the Details

By Graeme McFarlane Many businesses have experienced the loss of a valuable employee.  Some are fortunate enough to have that employee return to the fold after venturing out into the unknown.  A recent case, however, illustrates some of the risks...

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If You Promise the Stars…Deliver

By Graeme McFarlane A recent case from Ontario illustrates a shift in judicial thinking with respect to the creation and operation of the employment relationship.  A short service employee won a judgement providing him with $500,000 in extra contractual damages...

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Ready, Fire, Aim: A Flawed Strategy

By Graeme McFarlane When facing the difficult decision to end an employee’s employment for cause, it is very important not to jump to conclusions. Although this may sound obvious, the case law is replete with examples where employers used the...

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The Politics of Constructive Dismissal: ?“You Gotta Have (Good) Faith”

By Graeme McFarlane The Supreme Court of Canada has now provided some much needed guidance with respect to application of the doctrine of constructive dismissal in situations involving administrative “suspensions.”  The Court has now confirmed that these are permissible as...

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