We assist our clients to understand all aspects of the laws governing the relationship between employers and employees in this increasingly complex and regulated area of the law. We have extensive experience assisting both employers and employees with issues outlined below.
Constructive Dismissal Claims, Wrongful Dismissal Claims
Whether you are an employer defending against a constructive dismissal or a wrongful dismissal, or you are a seasoned executive that needs to file a constructive dismissal or wrongful dismissal claim, we can help. We are very familiar with this area of the law and have helped hundreds of organizations and individual employees.
For employers, it is important to consider how a properly drafted employment contract can add significant value to your business. Some employers include termination clauses to severely limit employee entitlements to notice or pay in place of notice upon dismissal without cause. Some employers add anti-constructive dismissal clauses that allow them to change the employee’s duties, compensation and other important terms and conditions without triggering a breach of the contract. It is also important to consider whether restrictive covenants and lay-off clauses should be included in the employment contract.
For employees, there is value in having an employment contract reviewed by an employment lawyer: we can explain the offer; offer an opinion on the offer; recommend changes to the offer; and help you negotiate the recommended changes, or we can act on your behalf in negotiations. If you’ve been headhunted by another employer, you may be leaving “money on the table” with your previous employer.
Severance Packages & Severance Pay
Did you receive a severance package from your employer? It is always prudent to have an employment lawyer review your severance package to consider your entitlements, ensure that the minimum notice period has been met and that severance pay owing to you has been calculated correctly.
If you’re an employer, do you need to prepare a severance package? Our employment lawyers can help you draft a severance package that meets the legal requirements and reduces the risk of litigation--saving you time, money and preserving your reputation.
Non-Competition and Non-Solicitation Contracts
The enactment of Working for Workers Act, 2021 (Bill 27) effectively bans non-compete clauses in employment contracts with some exceptions: 1) the sale of business and 2) any “C-level” executives. C-level executives are defined as "any person who holds the office of chief executive officer, president, chief administrative officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief information officer, chief legal officer, chief human resources officer or chief corporate development officer, or holds any other chief executive position."
We help employers draft effective non-competition and non-solicitation contracts-and we can also help employees who have claims against these clauses.
COVID-19 in the workplace
The pandemic has brought many changes to the workplace including working from home and working safely using physical distancing and PPE for workers.
The Working for Workers Act, 2021 (Bill 27) gives employees some greater protection around the right to disconnect from work. This new legislation affects all employers with more than 25 employees.
Due to the new legislative changes, many employers will need to implement policies regarding their employees disconnecting from work and about disclosing their electronic monitoring measures. Our employment lawyers can assist employers with either drafting new policies, or updating current policies, to comply with the new legislation.
The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, section 5(1) of the Code states that every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination due to: race; ancestry; place of origin; colour; ethnic origin; citizenship; creed; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity; gender expression; age; record of offences; marital status; family status; and disability.
Whether you are an employer defending a discrimination allegation, or you are an employee with a discrimination claim in the workplace our Employment Law Group can help.
Workplace Harassment Claims/Assisting Employers with Workplace Investigations
Employees have a right to a harassment-free workplace and employers have specific duties to do their utmost to prevent workplace harassment and workplace violence as outlined in the policies under the Occupational Health and Safety Act .
“Bad behaviour” in the workplace includes: bullying and intimidation; racist and culturally offensive remarks; unwelcome sexual remarks; jokes that cause ridicule or are offensive; offensive pictures, videos, or documents; staring, following, stalking; unwanted telephone calls, emails, text messages; and any other action or activity that belittles or embarrasses an employee.
Harassment at work may fall under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Sexual assault, threats, and behaviours such as stalking in the workplace fall under Canada’s Criminal Code and should be reported to police immediately.
Our Employment Law Group is available to assist employers to address any such complaints made about the workplace, and can assist employees to pursue any such claims or complaints.