The Workplace Matters
A blog published by the Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP Employment Law Group. Based out of Ottawa, we provide information and practical insights on all areas of employment law for employees and employers in private and public sectors throughout the National Capital Region, Ontario and across Canada.
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Fixed-term Contracts: 10 Things You Should Know

by Jill Lewis on August 25, 2016

Fixed-term Contracts: 10 Things You Should Know

Due to our current economic climate, an increasing number of employees are being hired on for fixed-term contracts. A fixed-term contract is one that either ends on a specified date or lasts until a specific task is completed.

This type of employment relationship raises unique concerns and issues as compared to a full-time or indeterminate employee.

Here are the 10 most important facts associated with fixed-term contracts:

Read more on Fixed-term Contracts: 10 Things You Should Know

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Earned Bonuses: Payable upon Termination?

by Dana Du Perron on August 19, 2016

Earned Bonuses: Payable upon Termination?

With its recent decision of Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal offered some much-needed clarification regarding the payment of bonuses during the reasonable notice period.

Before this decision, the case law appeared mixed on this issue in cases where the language of the bonus plan required that an employee be “actively employed” in order to receive payment of a bonus. For employee-side counsel, this rationale seemed unfair and unlawful: it essentially encouraged employers to terminate employees without working notice before a bonus payment would normally be paid. In so doing, the employer could avoid paying out a potentially significant entitlement.

Read more on Earned Bonuses: Payable upon Termination?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Filing A Ministry of Labour Complaint

by Alison McEwen on August 12, 2016

Filing A Ministry of Labour Complaint

A recent study conducted for the Ministry of Labour found that employees in Ontario have lost out on $28 million in unpaid wages over the last six years. And these lost wages are just the ones where the Ministry of Labour failed to collect money that was owing to employees. Combine this failure to collect with the fact that less than 0.2% of employers who are guilty of monetary violations are ever prosecuted, and it becomes clear that there is a lot of money owing to Ontario employees that never makes it into their pockets.

Read more on Filing A Ministry of Labour Complaint

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

The Strudwick Decision - When Employers Get What They Deserve

by Andrew Reinholdt on July 27, 2016

The Strudwick Decision - When Employers Get What They Deserve

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently awarded $246,049.92 against employer of the year candidate, Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc. In Strudwick v Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc., the court found that the employer calculatedly tried to make a deaf employee’s workplace so intolerable that she would just quit. When she refused to quit, the employer terminated her, alleging cause.

The facts

Ms. Strudwick, who had worked for the employer for nearly 16 years, contracted a virus, which left her deaf. From that point forward, the employer made her life intolerable.

The Ontario Court of Appeal (“ONCA”) summarized the employer’s deplorable conduct as two-fold: (1) general cruel treatment; and (2) conduct related to accommodating her disability.

Read more on The Strudwick Decision - When Employers Get What They Deserve

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.

Mitigation With One's Former Employer - Do You Always Have To?

by Janice B. Payne on July 19, 2016

Mitigation With One's Former Employer - Do You Always Have To?

When is a wrongfully dismissed employee required to accept on offer of re-employment to mitigate his or her damages against a former employer?

In the event of an unjust dismissal, both employees and employers have important roles to play: on the one hand, employees generally have an obligation to mitigate their damages by seeking an alternate source of income; on the other hand, employers have an obligation to compensate an unjustly dismissed employee for his or her losses due to lack of notice and/or severance.

Read more on Mitigation With One's Former Employer - Do You Always Have To?

This content is not intended to provide legal advice or opinion as neither can be given without reference to specific events and situations. © 2016 Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP.