September 18, 2002

Downsizing a Worker on Maternity Leave

Question: My company is going through a massive downsizing. We are not unionized, so we do have discretion regarding whom we will terminate. One of our employees is pregnant and on maternity leave. If she were not pregnant, it is clear she would be the logical candidate to terminate. Am I obligated to keep her…

September 18, 2002

Is Emergency Leave Different from Sick Days?

Question: I am aware that under Ontario ’s Employment Standards Act, 2000, our company is required to provide 10 days of leave to our employees for emergency time off. Are these days in addition to the regular paid sick days that our company already gives to employees? Answer: In Ontario , employers who regularly employ…

September 18, 2002

Mental Suffering Damages

Damages for mental suffering back on the table Background The landmark Wallace decision in 1997 seemed to spell the end of claims for mental distress related to termination, setting the precedent that employees were not entitled to damages for any mental anguish that losing a job may bring. The recent Prinzo decision puts damages for…

August 12, 2002

Firing an employee for dishonesty – Put things in context first

Theory that any dishonest conduct is grounds for dismissal no longer holds Firing an employee for dishonesty is a relatively simple matter, right? Don’t be so sure — according to the Supreme Court of Canada, it depends on the circumstances. In a recent case, McKinley v. BC Tel [2001] 2 S.C.R. 161, the Supreme Court…

June 17, 2002

Tips for Getting it Right

Your employees are privy to sensitive information, but the company has no employment agreements in place to protect confidentiality or deal with terminations. Can you tell staff they must sign a written employment agreement that contains stringent confidentiality and termination provisions or they will be dismissed? Will the courts enforce agreements signed under those circumstances?…

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