In the recent case of Van Wyngaarden v Thumper Massager Inc., the Ontario Divisional Court confirmed that unless a dismissal is in bad faith, an employer is entitled to dismiss an employee during the probationary period without cause and without notice.
The most common requirements for an employee to be eligible for severance pay is that the employer must have a payroll of at least $2.5 million, and the employee must have been employed for at least 5 years.
Although office holiday parties can be an amazing way to thank employees for their hard work all year, they can also be a minefield of potential liability for employers. This liability can crop up in any number of ways, including through harassing or offensive comments, inappropriate sexual or romantic advances, inadvertent discrimination, and excessive alcohol consumption. This year, in addition to these issues, employers also need to be prepared to deal with a brand new potential pitfall: the use of recreational cannabis.
Now that the use of recreational marijuana has been legalized, an employer’s existing drug and alcohol policies are unlikely to carry adequate wording to cover risks of applying unenforceable disciplinary procedures.
We are dealing with investigations more and more often in the context of employment or HR law, and the reality is, as we often tell our employer clients, you cannot impose discipline, especially dismissal, until you investigate.
The question that I ask today, and I will answer today, is whether, despite having that full and final release, a claim can be brought. And the simple answer is yes, there are circumstances where courts will allow someone to bring a claim even after they signed a full and final release.
It is not unusual to hear about workers that work through their lunch break in order to leave early and have a condensed work day, or to store up the extra time and be able to leave early on Friday, thereby creating a condensed work week. While this might sound good in theory, the problem is that it is a breach of employment standards legislation. And that exposes the employer to liability.
There are certain circumstances in which the duty to mitigate does not arise. The first is where there is a termination clause in an employee’s employment agreement which does not expressly require an employee to mitigate their damages during the applicable period of notice. The second is with respect to an employee’s minimum statutory entitlements under employment standards legislation, including an employee’s entitlement to notice/Termination Pay and Severance Pay, which an employee is entitled to receive regardless of their mitigation efforts.
An employee being away from the workplace for a significant length of time is often a frustrating experience for both employers and employees - but when will this situation actually result in the frustration of the employment contract itself?
Usually when we talk about damages for wrongful dismissal, we look at the number of months, we try to calculate what a month is worth and we take into account salary, bonuses, commission, benefits, car allowance, pension, etc. And when we negotiate a settlement, we might throw in a token amount for the cost of finding new work, but that's usually an afterthought.