A recent decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal adds further confusion to the issue of the enforceability of termination clauses. In Holm v AGAT Laboratories Ltd, 2018 ABCA 23 (“Holm“), the Alberta Court of Appeal (“Court”) held that explicit language must be included in a termination clause to oust an employee’s common law rights.
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In the recent decision of Covenoho v. Pendylum Ltd., 2017 ONCA 284, the Ontario Court of Appeal put an end to any debate about the enforceability of termination provisions in employment agreements that may violate minimum employment standards legislation in the future. The takeaway for employers from the case is as simple as it is noteworthy: a termination provision that breaches minimum employment standards legislation in the future – even if compliant at the time of the employee’s termination from employment – is void and therefore will not be enforced.
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On July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that most federally-regulated, non-union employees can only be dismissed for “just cause” after 12 consecutive months of service (Wilson v. Atomic Energy, 2016 SCC 29). As a result of this decision, it is now clear that employees who are regulated under Part III of the Canada Labour Code cannot, following their first year of employment, simply be provided with termination notice or pay in lieu, absent a compelling reason for terminating the employment relationship.
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In this series, we have explored the costs and benefits of incorporating arbitration clauses into employment agreements, the enforceability of such clauses, and issues to consider when drafting. Let’s say you resolve a dispute under an arbitration agreement and the arbitrator has granted an award. Now what?

In this post, we discuss the options for enforcing and challenging an arbitral award in Canadian courts. While we focus on enforcement and challenge of awards in Ontario, similar procedures and provisions apply throughout the country. 
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In a previous post, we discussed the Supreme Court of Canada’s (“SCC“) decision in Potter v. New Brunswick (Legal Aid Services Commission), in which the SCC purported to clarify the test for constructive dismissal as it applied to suspensions. But does the decision apply to all suspensions? What if an employee is suspended because of misconduct? Or pending determination of criminal charges? And do employers have to continue paying employees while suspended for these reasons?

To help provide some guidance, we will be publishing a two-part series dedicated to the issue of suspensions: what types of suspensions exist, when suspensions should be paid, and – perhaps most importantly – what types of suspensions courts may consider to have been constructive dismissals. This post will provide an overview of the law relating to paid suspensions, while our next post in the series will address unpaid suspensions.
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