The legal doctrine of frustration of contract is well known to employment lawyers but its application is not all that intuitive to the average employer or employee. In the recent case of Hoekstra v. Rehability Occupational Therapy Inc., 2019 ONSC 562, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was asked to revisit this doctrine and opine as to whether an employee, as compared to an employer, can ever assert frustration to end an employment relationship.
The size of an employee’s salary is often seen as an indicator of importance within an organization. Thus, when women are paid less than their male counterparts for performing similar work, it suggests that their efforts are somehow of lesser value. In Ontario, we have a number of legal mechanisms that are designed to reduce gender-based wage disparity, however, it remains a reality in far too many workplaces.
On January 2, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its first decision of 2019: Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc. et al. While the new year is just getting started, this decision is likely to be one of the most significant from an employment law perspective. Its implications are far-reaching and raise novel compliance challenges for Ontario employers that contract to resolve workplace disputes by way of private arbitration.
When an employee is fired and not given sufficient notice, a common point of dispute becomes how to properly calculate the lost value of non-monetary benefits. Wages, by contrast, are a relatively simple affair. If a court orders the employee ought to have received an additional three (3) months’ notice, the parties need only calculate the value of three months’ wages and any resulting interest for the delay in payment.
Manchester may be best known for its premiership football teams and spawning the likes of Oasis and The Smiths, however, the City was in the headlines last month for something quite different: its Student Union (“MUSU”) voted to replace clapping at all of its events with “jazz hands” (i.e. the practice of waving open hands in the air).
This week on Twitter, our firm has been examining the minimum wage from a variety of perspectives. Using the hashtag #minimumwageweek, we shared content ranging from videos of famed economists such as Milton Friedman to historical articles on the original debate when Ontario’s minimum wage was first introduced in 1963.
Wrongful dismissal disputes are fairly common. In our experience they often resolve through negotiation and infrequently progress far into the litigation process. That said, sometimes cases of this nature do reach the court room and the parties usually fight over the quantum of severance sought, the type of payments claimed (i.e. bonus/commissions) and whether the former employee made reasonable efforts to find re-employment.