If the employee is entitled to reasonable notice under the common law, then the employee has a duty to mitigate their damages, which means that they have a duty to take reasonable steps to find comparable employment.
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.
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.
Employers don't have to condone recreational cannabis usage at work, and they can put policies in place to prevent employees from working while high. But, for employees who use cannabis for medicinal purposes, because of a disability, or because of addiction, which also classifies as a disability, employers do have to accommodate to the point of unreasonable hardship.
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.
In this case, I want to talk about the case of Ocean Nutrition Canada v. Matthews, which comes out of Nova Scotia, and this deals with the types of damages an employee is entitled to in a wrongful dismissal claim.
Prior to January 1st, 2018, employers with 50 or more employees were obligated to provide employees with ten unpaid “Personal Emergency” days. Bill 148 eliminated the 50 employee threshold, and introduced a new requirement that the first two days of the ten-day entitlement be paid.
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.
At Rudner Law we are often asked how long someone has to bring a wrongful dismissal claim. In Ontario, the answer is 2 years, but the more important question is, when does that time period start to run. The answer to that question can mean the difference between being able to advance your claim and being told you can't, even if it was perfectly legitimate, and might be worth a whole lot of money. It's critical that you get this right, and two recent cases provide examples where plaintiffs waited unknowingly and missed a limitation period, and therefore were not able to pursue their claim.
Stuart is interviewed by AM570 Kitchener on banning work email at home.