Employers commonly receive calls from Employment Insurance (EI) Officers seeking clarification of the information provided by the employer in a Record of Employment (ROE). The clarification or confirmation typically relates to the employee’s first / last day worked, insurable hours, insurable earnings and / or the reason for issuing the ROE (Block 16).

Employers who are asked to speak to their reason for issuing the ROE should pause and consider what, if any, information to share with the EI Officer. Employers should also carefully consider what steps to take upon receipt of correspondence from the EI Officer or the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (Commission). Continue Reading Discussions with EI Officers: Employers Should Tread Carefully

Successor rights are a long standing fixture in Ontario’s labour relations legislation. Generally speaking, under s. 69 of the Labour Relations Act (LRA), the purchaser of a business effectively steps into the seller’s shoes for the purpose of labour relations and becomes bound by any collective agreement that the seller is party to, unless the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) declares otherwise. The same principle applies where the business is leased, transferred or otherwise disposed of. The fundamental purpose of s. 69 of the LRA is to preserve the bargaining rights of the Union. The idea is that once the Union has been recognized with respect to a particular business, the Union may pursue that bargaining right when all or part of the business is sold.

Whether successor rights extend to the context of court-appointed receiverships had been an unsettled area. Recently, the OLRB determined that a court-appointed receiver that actively operated the debtor’s business through its agent was a successor employer for the purpose of s. 69 of the LRA: United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Local 175 v Rose of Sharon (Ontario) Community cob as Rose of Sharon Korean Long-Term Care Home, 2018 CanLII 32988 (Rose of Sharon). We outline key aspects of the OLRB’s decision below. Continue Reading Ready to Bargain with the Union? Court-Appointed Receivers at Heightened Risk of Successor Employer Determination

As we reported in our earlier post, in Merrifield v The Attorney General, 2017 ONSC 1333, the Ontario Superior Court allowed an employee’s claim against his employer and two superiors for the “tort of harassment” and awarded significant damages against the defendants as a consequence. In its decision released today, the Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) held that there is currently no independent tort of harassment in Ontario, overturning the lower court’s decision. However, the ONCA did not rule out “the development of a properly conceived tort of harassment” that may apply in appropriate contexts. Continue Reading The Verdict is In: Ontario Court of Appeal Finds No Tort of Harassment (Yet)

This is part two in our series on recent Ontario Superior Court decisions that employers should be aware of before finalizing future employment agreements. See here for our first part, on the recent trend of lengthy notice period awards for long service employees of advanced age.

As most employers know, unenforceable termination clauses often give rise to costly wrongful dismissal claims. Yet the case law in this area is constantly evolving, and it is increasingly challenging to stay abreast of what a court will consider to be enforceable. Continue Reading Defining “Cause” in a Termination Provision: Mind Your Language!

The #MeToo and Times Up movements have led to significant cultural shifts and a collective call to action to end sexual harassment and related forms of exploitation. Since many of the high profile allegations involved abuse of power and quid pro quo demands in the context of employment relationships, the impact on employers has been profound. Continue Reading Not Just South of the Border: Canadian Employers Should Expect More Gender-Based Disputes

To mark International Women’s Day, we’re pleased to share an article from our US colleagues on recent efforts to close the gender pay gap, including salary history bans in the US and global efforts toward transparency reporting. The article, authored by Todd BoyerCaroline Burnett and Elizabeth Ebersole, can be accessed here.

This is the first of our two-part series on recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decisions that employers need to be aware of before finalizing their next employment agreement. The decisions highlight the risk of failing to include an enforceable termination provision in the employment agreement. Absent such a provision, an employee dismissed without cause will be entitled to “reasonable notice” of termination at common law.

In this first part, we examine two recent decisions of the Court that suggest that the Court now favours longer notice periods for long service employees of advanced age: Dawe v Equitable Life Insurance Company, 2018 ONSC 3130 (Dawe) and Saikaly v Akman Construction Ltd., 2019 ONSC 799 (Saikaly). Until recently, 24 months was generally considered as the upper limit of notice entitlement that courts would award absent exceptional circumstances. Continue Reading Dismissing a Long Service Employee of Advanced Age May Prove to be More Costly

Following our DPA roundtable in June 2018 and the recent focus on DPAs in the media related to the SNC-Lavalin corporate criminal prosecution, Peter MacKay and Christopher Burkett will be pleased to answer your questions via teleconference on March 5, 2019 at 12:30 PM (EST). Please register here and dial-in to gain important insights on:

  • How the Canadian DPA system will work in practice and how it impacts the Integrity Regime;
  • How the current debate around DPAs and alleged political interference may impact the regime going forward;
  • The critical lessons learned from negotiating DPAs in other jurisdictions;
  • Strategies for self-disclosure and dealing with parallel multinational investigations, multiple enforcement agencies, and global settlement negotiations; and
  • Designing compliance programs and conducting effective internal investigations to ensure your company qualifies for a DPA.

In addition, we’ll discuss best practices for implementing effective corporate compliance programs.

For questions about registering for the teleconference, please contact Kylie Aramini, at kylie.aramini@bakermckenzie.com.

Overtime class actions are in the headlines again. On February 22, 2019, a class action claim seeking damages of over $100 million was filed against Flight Centre, an Australia-based travel services provider with stores in Canada and internationally. The claim alleges that Flight Centre systematically failed to pay overtime to its retail sales employees, referred to as “travel consultants”, requiring them to consistently work more than their scheduled hours, and implemented policies that fail to comply with the overtime entitlements under employment standards legislation. Continue Reading Back in Class: Overtime Pay Class Action Brought Against Global Travel Retailer

The world is facing another year of unprecedented change making uncertainty the new normal for global employers. We are watching geopolitical crises play out on the global stage with a global economic slowdown waiting in the wings. Global employers must navigate a course through this highly charged, shifting competitive landscape which is compounded by the challenges presented by increasing regulation, disruptive technologies and an intergenerational workforce which is transforming the world of work.

In this year’s edition of the Global Employer Magazine, we review the key themes and trends that dominated the employment law landscape in 2018 and provide guidance on what to watch out for in 2019.