Superior Court Finds Ontario’s IDEL Regulation Does Not Preclude Constructive Dismissal Claim at Common Law

The Ontario Superior Court recently considered the interaction of the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave Regulation (IDEL Regulation) made under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA)and a claim for constructive dismissal at common law. In Coutinho v. Ocular Health Centre Ltd., the Court dismissed the employer’s position that the IDEL Regulation constituted a defence to a…

Court Finds Workplace Violence and Harassment Dispute Falls Within Exclusive Jurisdiction of Labour Arbitrator

The Ontario Superior Court recently confirmed that disputes arising from a collective agreement, including allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault in a unionized workplace, fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of a labour arbitrator and cannot be pursued through a civil action. In De Facendis v. Toronto Parking Authority, the Court held that this regime…

Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave to Appeal in Case Where Termination Clause in Employment Contract Found to be Unenforceable

On March 18, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an application for leave to appeal from a decision of the New Brunswick Court of Appeal, Abrams v. RTO Asset Management. In that case, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal (Court) held an employer could not assert that dismissal was for cause where the employer’s…

Appellate Court Considers Contractual Rights Upon Termination in Light of Ocean Nutrition and Affirms Original Decision

In Mikelsteins v. Morrison Hershfield Limited, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed its earlier finding that an employee’s common law entitlements upon termination of employment are distinct from any rights the employee may have under a shareholder agreement where they have purchased the shares separate and apart from their compensation structure.      Background In June…

Court Awards 5 Months’ Notice to Plaintiff with 4.5 Months’ Service and Who Was Pregnant at Time of Dismissal

In a recent summary judgment decision, Nahum v. Honeycomb Hospitality Inc., the Ontario Superior Court awarded 5 months’ reasonable notice to a plaintiff with 4.5 months’ service. In doing so, the Court found that the fact that the plaintiff was 5 months pregnant at the time of termination was an “important factor” in assessing her…

Supreme Court of Canada Clarifies Principle of Good Faith in Contracts

On February 5, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision Wastech Services Ltd. v. Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, in which it commented on and clarified the principle of good faith in contracts, a principle previously recognized by the Court in Bhasin v. Hrynew.   Background The case involved a contract between…

Ontario Court of Appeal Finds Anti-SLAPP Motions Can Apply To Causes of Action Beyond Defamation

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released two decisions which consider the Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) provisions of the Courts of Justice Act. The provisions are aimed at discouraging actions that have the harmful effect of chilling individuals and organizations from speaking out on matters of public interest. The first decision of the…

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds $1.27 Million Damages Award Against Employer for Breach of Fixed-Term Employment Contract

In McGuinty v. 1845035 Ontario Inc. (McGuinty Funeral Home), the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court decision awarding the respondent over $1.27 million in damages for constructive dismissal. Background The respondent had sold his family’s funeral business to the appellant employer and entered into a 10-year transitional consulting services agreement (TCSA) in 2012….

Supreme Court of Canada Considers Ontario’s “Anti-SLAPP” Legislation

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released companion decisions interpreting Ontario’s “anti-SLAPP” legislation. The decisions, Bent et al. v. Platnick, et al. and 1704604 Ontario Ltd. v. Pointes Protection Association, et al. were the first to consider the new statutory regime under s. 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act.  The anti-SLAPP (“strategic litigation against…