Employee’s tweets about confidential settlement payments cost him $50,000.00

Employee’s tweets about confidential settlement payments cost him $50,000.00

The majority of employment disputes are resolved long before they ever reach a court room. Usually, the former employee will agree to accept a sum of money from their previous employer in exchange for executing a release agreement. While the substance of release agreements can vary, they generally share two similarities:

  1. No further liability: The individual agrees that upon receipt of an agreed payment, he/she shall have no further right to seek additional compensation as a result of their employment, or the termination thereof; and

  2. Confidentiality: The individual agrees to keep the terms of settlement confidential.

Arbitrator reinstates locomotive engineer fired for drinking whiskey on the job

Arbitrator reinstates locomotive engineer fired for drinking whiskey on the job

Generally speaking, employers have the right to dismiss employees that fail to report to work sober, and perform their duties in a safe manner, particularly where these requirements have been clearly communicated through written policy.

Termination clause update: New developments concerning benefit continuation and just cause language

Termination clause update: New developments concerning benefit continuation and just cause language

We are not long into 2019 and yet one thing already seems clear – the law concerning employment contract termination clauses will continue to be the focus of a great deal of litigation in Ontario. In just the past few months alone, new decisions from the Superior Court have helped to advance the law and provide further guidance to employers on proper drafting of termination clauses.

Storing pornography on a work-issued laptop not “serious enough” to be cause for dismissal

Storing pornography on a work-issued laptop not “serious enough” to be cause for dismissal

Tagg Industries v. Rieder serves as a useful reminder of the importance of proving (and communicating to employees) a termination for cause, as well as the high threshold that employers must meet in such circumstances.

Wrongful dismissal in Ontario: how do we calculate the value of lost benefits?

Wrongful dismissal in Ontario: how do we calculate the value of lost benefits?

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.

Just cause for dismissal: context is key

Just cause for dismissal: context is key

Determining what conduct amounts to just cause for dismissal is no easy task. In part this is due to just cause being inherently situation specific. When describing what may constitute just cause, employment lawyers often refer to extreme examples: think of situations where a public-facing employee makes repeated racial slurs to a customer or commits major fraud in the course of their duties. Typically, such facts will prove fertile ground for successful assertions of just cause for dismissal by an employer.

When is Retraining a Reasonable Approach to Mitigating Loss of Employment?

When is Retraining a Reasonable Approach to Mitigating Loss of Employment?

As we have discussed in previous articles, if you are fired from work and decide to seek severance, you are required to take reasonable steps to find alternate comparable employment. This obligation is referred to as the “duty to mitigate” the loss of your employment.

Paying the price: Ontario court reminds employers to carefully consider their approach to litigation

Paying the price: Ontario court reminds employers to carefully consider their approach to litigation

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.