The Ontario Court of Appeal released yet another decision on the interpretation and enforceability of termination clauses: Rossman v. Canadian Solar Inc., 2019 ONCA 992. Recent appellate decisions on this matter have been inconsistent on this issue and unfortunately, Rossman is more bad news for employers. Nevertheless this decision provides guidance that should be considered in reviewing and drafting termination provisions in employment contracts.
Continue Reading Saving Provisions Unable to Save Termination Clauses

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reiterated that, barring exceptional circumstances, reasonable notice for dismissal without cause will not exceed 24 months. The Court partially overturned the lower court’s decision in Dawe v The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, which also ruled on the enforceability of unilateral changes to the employer’s bonus plan.
Continue Reading 24 Months Reaffirmed as the “High End” of Reasonable Notice; Bonus Plan Changes Must Be Accepted by Employee

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.
Continue Reading Alberta and Ontario Courts Diverge on Termination Clauses

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.
Continue Reading Into the Void: Potential Future Violations of ESA Sufficient to Set Aside Employment Contract

The untimely passing of George Michael and the corresponding ubiquitous airplay of his hit “Faith” may seem a curious segway to legal developments, but we don’t like our readers getting unexpectedly ‘whammed’  by subtle yet powerful trending in the law.
Continue Reading Supreme Court of Canada Tells Employers ‘You Gotta Have Faith’

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.
Continue Reading Supreme Court of Canada: A Dismissal “Without Cause” is an “Unjust Dismissal” (Part III of the Canada Labour Code)

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) has provided clarity in the debate over the validity of termination clauses in employment contracts that are silent on continuation of benefits through the statutory notice period.
Continue Reading The Pendulum Swings Back: The Court of Appeal Rules Termination Clause Valid Despite Silence on Benefits Continuation

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently confirmed not only that dependent contractors are entitled to reasonable notice of termination, but that 26 months can be an appropriate notice period for long-service dependent contractors.
Continue Reading Dependent Contractors are Entitled to Reasonable Notice (and Potentially Lots of It)