We are pleased to share a recent Benefits Canada article, “Employers seeking to withhold termination entitlements must prove wilful misconduct pre-planned: Ontario court,” with quotes from George Avraam. A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision raises the bar for employers seeking to withhold minimum entitlements under the Employment Standards Act from employees dismissed for cause.
employment standards act
Ontario Court of Appeal Outlines a New, More Onerous Version of the ESA’s Wilful Misconduct Standard
In Render v. ThyssenKrupp Elevator (Canada) Limited Group, the Ontario Court of Appeal redefined wilful misconduct under the Employment Standards Act and confirmed the modern day approach to assessing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mark Render was terminated for cause after slapping a female co-worker on her behind. The trial judge found…
Ontario Passes Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022
On April 11, 2022 Bill 88, Working for Workers Act, 2022 received royal assent, introducing significant changes to a number of employment-related statutes, and introducing the Digital Platform Workers Rights Act, 2022.
The most important changes introduced by Bill 88 include:
- New employment standards exemptions: Certain business consultants and information technology consultants are
Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and Paid COVID Sick Leave Extended Again to July 2022
On December 9, 2021, the Ontario Government filed a regulation that extended the COVID-19 Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“Deemed IDEL“) and the temporary measures previously introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA“) until July 30, 2022. Further details…
Ontario Passes The Working for Workers Act
On December 2, 2021, the Ontario government passed Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021, introducing significant changes to workplace laws. The most significant changes include:
- Right to Disconnect from Work: Employers, subject to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”), with 25 or more employees, must have a written policy for disconnecting
British Columbia Employers Must Provide Five Paid Sick Days Each Year
On May 21, 2021, we reported in a blog post that the British Columbia government passed Bill 13, Employment Standards Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021, which amends the Employment Standards Regulation to add a permanent and paid sick leave program. The Government did not provide details on the leave at that time. However,…
Deemed Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Extended Again to September 25, 2021
On June 4, 2021, the Ontario Government announced that the “COVID-19 Period” and the temporary measures introduced by O. Reg. 228/20: Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (the “Regulation”) under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) have been extended until September 25, 2021.
The Regulation, which was first introduced in May 2020,…
COVID Layoffs Can Lead to Employer Liability, Ontario Court Says
Following almost a year of uncertainty, the Ontario Superior Court finally clarified that temporary layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic can amount to constructive dismissal under the common-law. Ontario employers should take note of this important decision if they have or are considering temporary staffing cuts, including temporary reductions in hours.
Continue Reading COVID Layoffs Can Lead to Employer Liability, Ontario Court Says
Corporate Directors Held Personally Liable in Wrongful Dismissal Actions
In Abbasbayli v. Fiera Fine Foods Company, the Ontario Court of Appeal recently clarified that corporate directors may be held personally liable for unpaid wages and vacation pay in a wrongful dismissal proceeding.
Continue Reading Corporate Directors Held Personally Liable in Wrongful Dismissal Actions
Another Termination Clause Bites the Dust
There is a presumption that an employee is entitled to common law reasonable notice upon termination of employment without cause. Employers may rebut this presumption through an enforceable termination clause that, at the very least, provides Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) minimums, and displaces an employee’s right to common law reasonable notice.
In the past year, the Ontario Court of Appeal made it clear that it will find as unenforceable a termination clause where even the slightest imprecision could result in an unlawful contract. This trend started in Andros v. Colliers Macaulay Nicolls Inc., where the Court narrowly interpreted a failsafe clause as applying only to the first part of a termination clause but not the second. In Rossman v. Canadian Solar Inc., the same Court concluded that savings provisions, such as a failsafe provision, cannot save employers who attempt to contract out of the minimum standards prescribed by employment standards legislation. And most recently, in Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc., the Court struck down a valid “without cause” termination sub-clause because the “for cause” termination sub-clause was unenforceable. In short, the Court concluded that where one of the sub-clauses is unenforceable, the entire termination clause must fall and it will not be saved by a severability clause.…