KERPs (Key Employee Retention Plans) and KEIPs (Key Employee Incentive Plans), otherwise referred to as “pay to stay” compensation plans, are commonly offered by employers to incent key employees to remain with the company during an insolvency restructuring proceeding when so-called “key employees” may be tempted to find more stable employment elsewhere. However, courts will carefully scrutinize these plans because there are multiple competing interests as well as the overall policy objective of maximizing recoveries from the restructuring which can be diluted through overly generous incentive plans. Employers who are contemplating restructuring under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act  (CCAA) should be aware of the framework for assessing KERPs or KEIPs recently established by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Continue Reading Restructuring? Proceed Carefully with Your KERPs and KEIPs!

Although brevity is almost always better than wordiness, it would have been better if the legislature had used a few more words in the severance pay provisions of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000. Under the ESA, employers with a payroll of at least $2.5 million are required to provide statutory severance pay when dismissing an employee with 5 or more years of service. Unfortunately the provision is silent as to whether payroll within Ontario or, rather, global payroll is determinative. It would have been helpful if the drafters had indicated where, exactly, to draw the line.

The pendulum has swung back and forth on this issue. Most recently, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) held that Ontario-only payroll is determinative, diverging from the direction previously taken by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. We outline the key cases to date below. Continue Reading Statutory Severance Pay: Ontario Labour Relations Board Decides $2.5M Threshold Does NOT Include Payroll Outside Ontario

In recent years, Canadian courts have increasingly heard large civil claims against Canadian companies for alleged human rights violations in their foreign operations. As we have discussed previously, judges faced with these claims must determine whether the court’s jurisdictional reach extends to the company’s activities in its global supply chain, thus permitting foreign claimants to pursue their action in Canada. Continue Reading Rana Plaza Class Action Blocked in Ontario & Nevsun Decision Challenged at Canada’s Highest Court

We’re pleased to share a recent Canadian HR Reporter article, “Bill 66 could have ‘pretty profound’ impact on Ontario employers“, with insight from Andrew Shaw. If passed, Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, will amend Ontario’s employment standards, labour relations and pension benefits statutes, among other legislation, to cut business costs and streamline regulatory requirements. In particular, the Bill would eliminate the need for employers to obtain government approval for excess weekly hours of work and overtime averaging agreements. For further details on Bill 66, please also see here.

As a result of a change in government leadership and recently signed laws and treaties, companies with operations in Mexico now have an important “to do” for 2019: prepare to review any unions that are “on the books” and assess compliance in this new environment. We’re pleased to share a timely client alert from our colleagues in Mexico which provides guidance on steps to take in light of this development.

In its first decision of 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal has overturned the lower court’s decision in Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc., 2019 ONCA 1. The Court of Appeal held that an arbitration clause requiring arbitration in the Netherlands of disputes between drivers and Uber to be invalid and unenforceable. Based on the presumption that Uber drivers are employees of Uber, the Court of Appeal found that the arbitration clause was a prohibited contracting out of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). Continue Reading Ontario Court of Appeal Invalidates Arbitration Clause Requiring Arbitration in Foreign Jurisdiction

To ring in the New Year, we highlight the ten most significant developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2018. Continue Reading Top 10 Canadian Labour & Employment Law Developments of 2018

We’re pleased to share Baker McKenzie’s US Employment & Compensation Law Digest 2018/2019. The Digest outlines recent developments in US law relevant to employers and provides insight on global trends in gender pay, #MeToo, business change, and the modern workforce. In short, it’s an invaluable resource for Canadian companies with operations in the US and/or internationally.

On December 13, 2018, Bill C-86, the Budget Implementation Act, 2018  received Royal Assent. Bill C-86 has a wide ambit given that it primarily implements the February 2018 federal budget plan. Among other things, Bill C-86 makes numerous amendments aimed at “modernizing” the labour standards in the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”). To help federally regulated employers navigate the many changes to the labour standards, we have outlined the key changes to be aware of and what to do about them. Continue Reading “Modernized” Federal Labour Standards: Key Changes & What to Do About Them

The Ontario government introduced Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act  (“Bill 66”) on December 6, 2018. If passed, Bill 66 will make amendments to several pieces of legislation in Ontario. The government has stated that its objective in introducing these changes is to “lower business costs to make Ontario more competitive” and to “harmonize regulatory requirements with other jurisdictions, end duplication and reduce barriers to investment.” We outline below the proposed changes to the province’s labour and employment legislation below. Continue Reading Ontario’s War on “Red Tape” Continues: PC’s Table Bill 66