July 18, 2014

When is a Resignation a Voluntary Resignation?

Answering this question is, sometimes, not easy.  The issue was most recently discussed by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Geddes v Silvestri Holdings Inc, 2014 ABQB 416 (CanLII), a case in which the court was required to consider whether an employee resigned or was constructively dismissed. The employee and her business partner had [...]

July 4, 2014

Unsolicited Disclosure Obligation and the Duty to Bargain in Good Faith

The Alberta Labour Relations Board considered the extent of the duty to bargain in good faith and, specifically, the requirement to disclose information in the course of collective bargaining.  Specifically, a decision to layoff all of the employer’s full-time firefighters prior to an award being issued by a Compulsory Arbitration Board. The case is International [...]

July 2, 2014

What is Wilful Misconduct under the Ontario Employment Standards Act?

An employee with about 13 years of service was terminated without notice or pay in lieu of notice.  The employee filed a complaint under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and the employer defended on the basis that the employee had been terminated for “willful misconduct, disobedience or neglect of duty that was not trivial and was [...]

June 23, 2014

Prima Facie Motions at the Ontario Labour Relations Board

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (the “Board”) considered a preliminary motion by the respondent to dismiss an application under section 69 (sale of a business) and 1(4) (related employer) under the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (the “Act”) because the applicant (union) failed to show a prima facie case of a breach of the Act.  The case is Molson Coors Canada [...]

June 20, 2014

Damages at the Human Rights Tribunal – A Helpful Case on the Limits

On June 17, 2014 the Ontario Divisional Court released a judgment in Campbell v. Revera Retirement LP, 2014 ONSC 3233 (CanLII) in which it clarified the principles to be taken into account when awarding damages under the Human Rights Code. This was an application for judicial review of a decision of the Ontario Human Rights [...]

June 17, 2014

Exceptional Circumstances Required to Exceed 24 Months Reasonable Notice

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Kotecha v. Affinia Canada ULC, 2014 ONCA 411 (CanLII) recently considered an appeal of a reasonable notice award of 24.5 months given to a 70 year machine operator earning an annual salary of $37,918.40 having 20 years service with an auto parts manufacturer. Background Mr. Kotecha brought a motion for [...]

June 16, 2014

Summary Judgment, Retirement and Statutory Severance Pay

The recent case of Kimball v Windsor Raceway Inc, 2014 ONSC 3286 (CanLII) considered a plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in a wrongful dismissal case. Mr. Kimball was a long-service (43 years) employee who was 71 years old.  He claimed that he had been terminated without just cause and was entitled to 24 months salary in [...]

June 13, 2014

Unfair Treatment is not (Necessarily) a Human Rights Issue

The 2007 amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) removed the gatekeeper function from the Ontario Human Rights Commission and allowed applications to proceed, directly to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). This direct access was a concern to many as it removed the “filter” from the process which screened out unmeritorious complaints, or [...]

June 11, 2014

Non-Competition Clauses and their Affect on Damages

The court in the recent case of Ostrow v. Abacus Management Corp. Mergers and Acquisitions [2014] B.C.J. No. 1046 considered the impact that a non-competition provision in an employment contract (or hiring document) can have on the damages awarded to an employee terminated without just cause.  While the case is interesting for many reasons, that is the [...]

January 15, 2014

Progressive Discipline and Collective Agreements

Progressive discipline and performance management is part of the employment relationship.  It’s a part that most managers and employees would like to avoid.  But it’s reality and critically important to business and individual success. An Alberta Arbitrator recently considered progressive discipline in a unionized environment where progressive discipline was specifically referenced in the collective agreement.  [...]