Dismissing an employee is not a pleasant experience. But whether you like it or not, this is one task that most businesses will encounter at some point. As President Trump reminded us again this week after reports surfaced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned of his firing by way of a twitter post, there is both a right way and a wrong way to conduct employee terminations.
Employees are entitled to work in a respectful environment, free from harassment and discrimination. In circumstances where the work environment deteriorates to such an extent that it may be considered “poisonous” or “toxic”, a court will likely find that the employer’s behaviour in creating and/or condoning this environment amounted to a constructive dismissal of the affected employee.
Vey Willetts lawyer Paul Willetts was quoted in the February 26, 2018 edition of The Lawyer's Daily. The article, "Automated legal services cost efficient, but can leave clients vulnerable, lawyers say", considers the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence, and the automation of legal documents, for individuals in need of legal assistance.
Since allegations related to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein first became public, the #metoo movement has provided a catalyst for society to confront its handling of sexual harassment. Just this week, the latest public figure to be embroiled in such allegations is Steve Paikin, a prominent journalist employed by the provincially-funded broadcaster TVOntario (“TVO”).
Q&A is a recurring series on the Vey Willetts LLP blog. The aim is to provide quick answers to questions we commonly encounter in our day-to-day practice of employment law. In this edition, we focus on sexual harassment in the workplace.