Blog

July 3, 2018

Religious Freedom: Canada versus the U.S.: Two Recent Cases, Two Different Results.

The accommodation of religious freedom is extremely important in a free and democratic society.  Accommodating and supporting religious beliefs, practices and aspirations enables individuals of diverse […]
July 24, 2017

Probationary Employee Dismissed: Out of Luck Says ON CA

Is a probationary employee entitled to wrongful dismissal damages?  Can an employer contract out of these damages?  Until now, most Canadian court decisions have held that […]
July 19, 2017

20 Month Wrongful Dismissal Award for Employee Upheld

The Ontario Court of Appeal has released several wrongful dismissal decisions over the past few months.  It has also released some employment law cases that are […]
July 15, 2016

SCC: Unjust Dismissal: Big Win for Employees

The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a landmark employment law decision.  The case of Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada focused on the definition of […]
June 10, 2015

CBC Fires Evan Solomon for Conflict of Interest: Just Cause?

The CBC continues to provide wonderful material for Canadian employment lawyers.  Its very public employment disputes are fascinating case studies.  The most recent case involves allegations […]
May 13, 2015

Fired for Off-Duty Conduct: Should that hold up?

Can inappropriate off-duty conduct be used by an employer to dismiss an employee for just cause?  The answer is far from clear. By now, you have […]
April 23, 2015

Quick Justice? Bring a Summary Judgment Motion

The use of the summary judgment process is becoming more and more widespread in wrongful dismissal cases. In this post, I look at three recent decisions […]
March 24, 2015

Just Cause for Dismissal: Is One Incident Enough?

Is one incident of dishonesty just cause for dismissal?  What if it involves a long-serving employee?  This was the issue that was decided recently by the […]
February 18, 2015

Use of Summary Judgment Motions in Dismissal Cases

What are summary judgment motions?  Are they effective in wrongful dismissal cases?  A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Arnone v. Best Theratronics […]
February 3, 2015

Whiplash: Great Film. But Does it Promote Bullying?

On a recent plane trip, I was fortunate to find that Air Canada had enhanced its collection of films and added several new releases.  Since this […]
January 12, 2015

Fixed Term Employment Contract? Better Prove It!

When is a fixed term employment contract not enforceable?  A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Tossonian v. Cynphany Diamonds Inc. addressed this issue.  […]
January 6, 2015

Key Employment Law Cases of 2014

Another year has passed and that means it is time to reflect back and consider some developments in employment law that we witnessed in 2014.  It […]
December 8, 2014

Poisoned Work Environment? Not In This Restaurant…

What is a poisoned work environment? And when should the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal award damages to employees who might find themselves in one? That was […]
November 27, 2014

Dismissal of Ghomeshi: Some Employment Law Points

The dismissal of Jian Ghomeshi from the CBC continues to dominate headlines. At this point, however, it has really become much more of a case about […]
November 17, 2014

Just Cause for Dismissal? Hard to Prove.

What kind of conduct is just cause for the dismissal of a teacher?  If the teacher has been a long serving employee, the threshold will be […]
October 29, 2014

CBC Decision to fire Jian Ghomeshi: More Details to Come?

Everyone is talking about the CBC decision to fire Jian Ghomeshi. Certainly, Canadians love a good sex scandal story as do readers across the world. In […]
July 28, 2014

Theft and Just Cause: Better Prove It!

Is theft just cause for termination of employment in Canada?  It might be.  But employers looking to support a just cause case with allegations of theft […]
June 23, 2014

LGBTQ Workplace Issues

It is Worldpride Week in Toronto, the first Worldpride celebration held in North America and one of the largest in the world of its kind.  The […]
June 5, 2014

Huge Aggravated Damages Awards For Reprehensible Conduct Upheld

Punitive and aggravated damages in employment cases are alive and well in Canada, thanks to a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal.  The ground-breaking […]
May 13, 2014

Does Family Status Include Childcare Needs?

Human Rights legislation across Canada prohibits discrimination on the basis of family status.  But what does that mean?  What does “family status” actually include?  Two recent […]
May 6, 2014

After-Acquired Cause – Employee Fired For Drug Transactions

What is “after-acquired cause?”  It is a legal doctrine that allows employers to prove just cause – even after they have fired employees on a “without […]
May 2, 2014

Can Professionals Enforce Non-Competition Agreements?

Can professionals use non-competition agreements to protect their practices when hiring and training a junior?  This issue has been the subject of a great deal of […]
April 28, 2014

Are Employment Contracts Negotiable?

Are the terms of employment contracts negotiable?  More often than not, the answer is yes.  But it amazes me how many people tell me that they […]
April 3, 2014

Less Money for Dismissal in Tough Economic Times?

Should a dismissed employee be entitled to less severance when the employer is facing tough economic times?  This was the question facing an Ontario Superior Court […]
March 18, 2014

Constructively Dismissed Employee Not Required to Return to Work

Is a constructively dismissed employee required to return to work to “mitigate damages?”  This issue has attracted a great deal of judicial attention across Canada.  Since […]
March 6, 2014

Failure to Mitigate Defeats Dismissal Claim

In yet another reported wrongful dismissal case, a B.C. Court has minimized the damages of a dismissed employee because of a failure to mitigate.  She refused […]
February 11, 2014

Not My Pot: Wrongfully Dismissed Courier Wins…

A wrongfully dismissed courier has won a lawsuit at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.  In Hollander v. Tiger Courier Inc. (2014) SKCA 7, the courier was […]
January 31, 2014

Steps to Take When You’re Fired

No one likes the word “fired.”  It seems to somehow connote an “at fault” dismissal.  But realistically, under Canadian law, whether you have been downsized, restructured, […]
January 24, 2014

Wrongful Dismissal and Association Employees

Wrongful Dismissal and Associations Can members of staff associations sue their empl0yers for wrongful dismissal?  According to the B.C. Court of Appeal, the answer is no […]
January 23, 2014

Accommodating Religion: In the Canadian HR Reporter

A sneak preview link to my upcoming article in the Canadian HR Reporter.  The article is a discussion of the issue of religious practices in Canada […]
January 16, 2014

Wins Wrongful Dismissal: But Fails to Mitigate

In another blow to dismissed employees. a B.C. court has reduced the wrongful dismissal damages that would have been owing to an employee after the employee […]
January 10, 2014

Limits of Religious Accommodation in the Workplace

What are the limits of religious accommodation in Canada?  Is an employer required to accommodate a request by an employee not to work with an employee […]
January 5, 2014

Key Employment Law Cases of 2013

I have put together a collection of some key employment law cases for 2013.  2013 was an interesting year for employment law, though I would be […]
December 30, 2013

Employment Law Issues in Bawdy Houses

What employment law issues might be involved in running a bawdy house? Given the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford, […]
December 16, 2013

Ontario Div. Ct. Overturns Whacky Arbitration Decision: No Return to Work for Exhibitionist

The Ontario Divisional Court has overturned a controversial arbitration decision.  In January 2013, an arbitrator ordered an exhibitionist Transportation Enforcement Officer back to work after he […]
December 12, 2013

Just Cause: Employer Fails to Prove Allegations of Anti-Semitic Remarks

How difficult is it for employers to prove just cause for dismissal in Ontario?  The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in Ludchen v. Stelcrete […]
November 27, 2013

Forced Sick Leave: Is it Constructive Dismissal?

Can an employer insist that an employee take sick leave?  Or is this a constructive dismissal?  A recent decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal sided […]
November 7, 2013

Punitive Damages of $450,000 for Malicious Prosecution

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reduced a trial court award from $550,000 to $450,000 for malicious prosecution in a wrongful dismissal suit.  Unfortunately for the […]
October 21, 2013

HRPA Law Conference 2013 – October 24, 2013

HRPA Law Conference – October 24, 2013 Ken Krupat will be speaking at the annual Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) Law Conference on Thursday October 24, […]
October 20, 2013

Confidentiality Provisions in Wrongful Dismissal Settlements: Enforceable?

Most settlement agreements in wrongful dismissal cases contain confidentiality provisions.  Employers do not want their former employees revealing the terms of the settlement.  The dismissed employee […]
October 17, 2013

Deficient Notice Clause Upheld by Ontario CA in Dismissal Case

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, involving a deficient notice clause, illustrates the perils of attempting self-representation in a wrongful dismissal case.  In […]
October 11, 2013

Signing an Employment Contract in Canada? Points to Consider.

Congratulations!  You have made it through the interview process and have now  been given an employment contract.  The contract may contain terms that significantly alter your […]
October 7, 2013

Former Manager Awarded $100,000 in Constructive Dismissal Suit

Constructive dismissal lawsuits can be very challenging.  Many judges seem to feel that employees should continue to work for their empl0yers even if significant employment terms […]
October 2, 2013

Quitting Your Job in Style? Think Carefully!

Thinking of quitting your job in dramatic fashion?  Make sure to think things through carefully before making any rash decisions.  Many employees find themselves in very […]
October 1, 2013

Does State Immunity trump Wrongful Dismissal claims?

When does state immunity apply in an employment law context?  Can a Canadian worker at a foreign embassy or consulate, located in Canada, bring a claim […]
September 20, 2013

Sabbath Observance and Workplace Discrimination: Ontario HR Tribunal Awards $4,000.

Can an employer discriminate against Sabbath observers in the course of interviews for employment in Ontario?  If not, what kinds of penalties can employers face when […]
September 17, 2013

Non-Competition Agreements Enforceable When Commercial: SCC

When will Canadian courts enforce non-competition agreements?  The latest Supreme Court of Canada decision in Payette v. Guay Inc. confirms that, in a commercial context, even […]
September 16, 2013

Dismissed Employees Must Return To Work if Recalled

Last year, the Ontario Superior Court held that a wrongfully dismissed employee may be required to go back to work if recalled by his or her […]
September 1, 2013

Choosing the Right Employment Lawyer

If you have been wrongfully dismissed, given a severance package or handed a new employment contract, you will probably want to consult with an employment lawyer.  […]
August 30, 2013

Frustration: No Dismissal Damages for Serious Illness

If an employee becomes totally disabled and cannot return to work, the employer may be able to end the employment relationship without any further obligations.  This […]
August 14, 2013

Constructive Dismissal: Racism Ruling Overturned

How hard is it in Ontario to sue for constructive dismissal because of a racially poisoned work atmosphere?  According to a recent Ontario Court of Appeal […]
July 31, 2013

Severance Packages and “Clawback” Provisions

In wrongful dismissal situations, many employers provide dismissed employees with severance packages that consist of a salary continuation.  Of course employees would usually prefer to be […]
June 24, 2013

Supreme Court Strikes Drug and Alcohol Testing

Is random drug and alcohol testing legal in Canadian workplaces?  There still may not be an absolutely clear answer to that question but the Supreme Court […]
June 20, 2013

Is A “Layoff” Really A Wrongful Dismissal?

Some employment lawyers and HR professionals have been buzzing about a recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court which looked at the issue of whether a […]
June 3, 2013

Should Canadian Employees Have Faith in Workplace Accommodation of Religion?

Canadian employers are required to accommodate the needs of religious employees in the workplace.  This requirement can extend to a number of different issues including weekly […]
May 6, 2013

Can Professionals Enforce Non-Compete Agreements?

In a recent B.C. case, http://casealert.canadalawbook.ca/summaries/acws/acws-13029018.html, a court had to decide whether a non-compete agreement between two veterinary practices was enforceable.  The court concluded that the non-competition […]
April 18, 2013

Non-Competition Clause Can Increase Wrongful Dismissal Damages Award

Will a court award extra damages in a wrongful case where the employee is subject to a non-competition clause?  A recent Ontario case held that this […]
March 8, 2013

Wrongful Dismissal: B.C. Court awards $100,000 in Punitive Damages

A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has awarded punitive damages of $100,000 in a wrongful dismissal case.  In the case of Kelly v. Norsemont Mining Inc., […]
February 27, 2013

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Hate Speech Restrictions

The Supreme Court of Canada handed down a lengthy but fascinating decision today in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights commission) v. William Whatcott.  The case […]
February 15, 2013

Wrongful Dismissal: Supervisor awarded 20 Months

When dismissing large numbers of employees, employers use widely different strategies.  Some employers choose to provide relatively fair severance proposals, negotiate if necessary, and minimize their […]
February 12, 2013

Federal Court: Family Status includes Child Care Responsibilities Under Human Rights Act

Are Canadian employers required to accommodate child care challenges of their employees?  Is this covered by “family status?”  A recent decision of the Canadian Federal Court […]
February 6, 2013

Restrictive Covenant Void – Ontario Court of Appeal

The Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed once again that restrictive covenants are subject to careful judicial scrutiny, and will often be struck out.  According to […]
February 6, 2013

Crown Employee Performing Indecent Acts: Ordered Back to Work

When is off-duty conduct considered “just cause” for termination of employment?  This was the question that an arbitrator of the Ontario Grievance Settlement Board recently answered.  […]
January 9, 2013

Suing Personal Defendants in Wrongful Dismissal Cases? Might Not Be A Good Idea.

In wrongful dismissal cases, dismissed employees are often interested in suing personal defendants in their lawsuits (as well as the company) in an effort to pressure […]
January 4, 2013

Ontario Imposes Collective Agreements on Teachers – CTV Interview

The Ontario Government passed Bill 115, entitled the “Putting Students First Act” in September 2012.  The legislation allowed the Provincial government to set rules that local […]
October 26, 2012

Racial Discrimination Suit Against The Bachelor Dismissed: Would We Get The Same Result?

Should freedom of expression always trump racial equality in broadcasting?  In a nutshell, that was the issue to be decided by a Tennessee district court earlier […]
October 25, 2012

Wrongfully Dismissed Employees May Be Required to Return to Work if “Recalled”

Can an employer “recall” an employee back to work as a way of avoiding a wrongful dismissal lawsuit?  Even if the employee was wrongfully dismissed?  Since […]
October 23, 2012

Workplace Privacy: Two Recent Canadian Decisions: Is your workplace computer private?

Workplace privacy is a rapidly changing area of law.  Two recent Canadian court decisions have provided mixed messages for employees in the area of privacy protection.  […]
October 12, 2012

Ex-Walmart Employee Awarded $1.4 Million Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Case

Dismissed employees and their legal counsel continue to push the envelope in Ontario by using jury trials to obtain large damages awards.  Even though these awards […]
August 28, 2012

Ontario Court of Appeal: Nasty Letter to Employer Can be Just Cause for Dismissal

Ontario Court of Appeal ruling in wrongful dismissal Case: Nasty letter to employer can be just cause.
July 11, 2012

No Mitigation Requirement If Employment Agreement Specifies Notice Period

If an employee has a valid, enforceable employment agreement, with a specific severance term – does the employer still have to pay the whole amount even […]
June 4, 2012

Out of the Blue by Jan Wong: A Review – by an Employment Lawyer…

I picked up Jan Wong’s latest book Out of the Blue out of professional interest.  As an employment lawyer, I had heard that the book was […]
May 7, 2012

Long Service Employee Gets 26 Months in Wrongful Dismissal Suit

Long Service Employee Wrongfully Dismissed: Awarded 26 Months' Compensation. Hussain v. Suzuki Canada Ltd.
April 18, 2012

Frustration of Contract: Disabled Employee Loses Wrongful Dismissal Case

Frustration of Contract: Disabled Employees May Not Be Entitled to Dismissal Damages.
April 9, 2012

Employees Not Required to Stay When Constructively Dismissed

Constructively dismissed employees are not required to accept a demotion to mitigate their damages in a wrongful dismissal case.
April 2, 2012

What To Expect in a Severance Package in Canada

Severance Packages in Canada: A list of key items to look for when wrongfully dismissed. How to ensure that your severance package is reasonable and appropriate.
March 21, 2012

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Non-Competition: Two Ontario Court of Appeal Decisions: Two Very Different Results.

The Ontario Court of Appeal has issued two recent decisions dealing with breach of fiduciary duty in an employment context.  In one case, GasTOPS Ltd. v. […]
March 19, 2012

The Scathing Missive and Canadian Employment Law: Good Idea?

This article examines whether it is a good idea for Canadian employees to send a scathing missive on their way out the door - and how it might affect severance entitlements.
March 15, 2012

Wrongful Dismissal Damages: Is Type Of Employment Still Relevant?

Should non-managerial employees get lower notice periods under Ontario law when they are wrongfully dismissed?  In other words, should the type of employment matter in a […]
March 14, 2012

Does Forced Geographic Relocation Constitute Constructive Dismissal?

Transferring an employee to a new geographic location may not always be a constructive dismissal. Employees must be cautious in pursuing constructive dismissal claims.
February 29, 2012

Are Dismissed Employees Entitled to LTD Benefits?

Ontario employees can sue their former employers for disability benefits if they become disabled during the reasonable notice period.
February 13, 2012

Wrongfully Dismissed? Six Points to Consider.

Thousands of employees are restructured, dismissed or downsized across Canada each week. In some cases, these dismissals are related to the company’s economic performance or to some […]
February 6, 2012

RBC Dominion Securities Inc. v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.

Can employees be sued successfully when they go to work for the competition?  In some cases, the answer is yes, even the employees do not have […]
June 22, 2011

Gender Discrimination Class Action against Walmart is Struck Down by the U.S. Supreme Court

Can a large group of employees use the Class Action process to sue for discrimination in the U.S.? Yes, they still can, though they face significant […]
June 16, 2011

Damages Awarded for Inadequate Response to Harassing Email

To avoid being sexually assaulted, “don’t dress like sluts.” This is one of the pieces of offensive and ill conceived advice provided by a Toronto Police […]
March 8, 2009

Wrongful Dismissal: Punitive and Bad Faith Damages Scaled Back Dramatically: Keays v. Honda

In 2008, the fourth decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (as reviewed in this series of articles) was the most widely anticipated decision. Many employment […]
February 20, 2009

Forced to Return to Work After Being Wrongfully Dismissed: Evans v. Teamsters Local Union No. 31

2008 was not a banner year for employee rights in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada issued four employment law decisions all of which sided in […]
February 8, 2009

Employer’s Obligation to Accommodate Disabled Employees is Limited: Hydro-Québec

In August 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a relatively short and unanimous decision addressing the issue of frequent absences and discussing the obligations of […]
December 24, 2004

Vulnerable Employees Need Protection

This Article appeared in The Lawyers Weekly on December 24, 2004 The Ontario Court of Appeal has emphatically confirmed that an employment contract signed without new […]
October 14, 2004

Ken Krupat With Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci

KEN KRUPAT AND RETIRED SUPREME COURT OF CANADA JUSTICE FRANK IACOBUCCI   Ken Krupat with retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci at dinner honouring […]
July 21, 2004

To Sign or Not To Sign by Kevin Marron – The Globe and Mail July 21, 2004

To sign or not to sign? Many employers require employees to sign restrictive agreements. But both often ignore the legal ramifications — and that’s a big […]
May 17, 2003

Sloppy Dismissal May Not Be Bad Faith

Domonic Gismondi worked for the City of Toronto for 20 years. Then came amalgamation. The City would be cutting back on the number of managers. Under […]
February 17, 2003

Dealing with abusive bosses

Working for an abusive boss has been compared to being an abused spouse. Although workplace abuse is less likely to involve physical harm and is usually […]
December 19, 2002

Ho Ho! Hold the December Firings

Published in the National Post – December 19, 2002 Downsized. Right-sized. Laid-off. Let-go. Whichever words are used, there is never really a good time to lose […]
December 18, 1999

Fairness and Job Security Towards the New Millenium

Published in The Toronto Star – December 18, 1999 Just in time for the new millennium, Canadians have received some encouraging economic news that will undoubtedly […]