In the recent decision of Morison v Ergo-Industrial Seating Systems Inc. the Ontario Superior Court of Justice made an award of $50,000.00 in punitive damages against the defendant employer. This decision is an important reminder to all Ontario employers of the type of conduct which may attract punitive damages.
The Ontario economy has been hit hard over the past several years. As such, many employers have sought ways to reduce workforce-associated costs. One common tactic has been to replace employees with contractors. Four significant and cost-limiting changes result when an independent contractor, rather than an employee, is engaged.