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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This two-hour CLE program will provide in-house counsel, HR professionals and business leaders with practical guidance and checklists to tackle the key issues that arise when their company moves into new jurisdictions around the world. We will look at three critical elements of international expansion:

  1. Getting the Structure Right, Early.  What factors do you consider when choosing the type of business entity to use for a particular type of business, long term objective and country?  Understand the impact your choice of business entity can have on your future business and related legal issues.
  2. Realities of Global Employment.  What are the most significant international employment, hiring and termination issues for in-house counsel dealing with international expansion and ongoing operations? Take away strategies to help you avoid the biggest pitfalls and successfully manage a global workforce.
  3. Equity Compensation.  How are companies thinking about equity outside of Canada? Learn whether the use of equity grants to provide future incentives and variable compensation for executives and other employees is available or advisable in other jurisdictions in light of securities law, tax withholding/reporting, exchange controls and other requirements.


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A recent article published by The Wall Street Journal discussed a growing trend by American employers to include arbitration clauses in their employment agreements, in part encouraged by a 2011 decision by the United States Supreme Court which upheld a contractual provision requiring telecom customers to waive their right to bring certain lawsuits. There have been similar decisions in Canada, where courts have generally taken a deferential approach to decisions by arbitrators. But what exactly does arbitration entail? And should your company include arbitration clauses in its employment contracts? What are the costs and benefits of arbitration?
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One of the questions we are commonly asked by non-unionized employers is whether they should use written employment agreements with their employees. While written employment agreements are not a replacement for sound human resources planning or judgment, a well-written agreement, tailored to the specifics of the employment relationship, can be an invaluable component of successfully managing employees throughout the life-cycle of the employment relationship, beginning to end.
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Corporate restructuring often requires an employee to change roles. If that change constitutes a fundamental change to the employee’s employment contract, the employer may become liable to that employee for a constructive dismissal. But how significant must the change be to qualify as a “fundamental change” resulting in constructive dismissal?
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Written employment contracts can significantly reduce an employer’s liability when dismissing an employee without cause.  However, to succeed in reducing liability, employment contracts must be carefully drafted.  For example, if an employment contract provides for less than the statutory minimum entitlements that result from terminating employment, then the employer will become liable for payment in lieu of reasonable termination notice at common law—often far exceeding the statutory minimums.


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