Advantage CPD: Contracts – in the Wake of Waksdale and Ocean Nutrition

Register Fee: Complimentary Overview Both the Waksdale and Ocean Nutrition decisions have dramatically altered the legal landscape with respect to the enforceability and interpretation of employment contracts and incentive plans, and the potential scope of damages that may arise as a result of a termination of employment. The resulting impact on employers is far-reaching. It…

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…

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 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….

Ontario Bar Association (OBA): Employment Contracts – Understanding What`s in Them and Whether it`s Enforceable

Employment contracts can be valuable part of your employment agreement, either as an employer or employee. However, there are a number of tricky issues that need to be correctly drafted to ensure that they are enforceable and achieve the intended goals. Agenda Topic Termination provisions Frustration of contract Restrictive covenants Arbitration clauses How contracts are…

Ontario Court of Appeal Comments on Notice Entitlements Following an Asset Transaction

In Manthadi v. ASCO Manufacturing, the Ontario Court of Appeal unanimously found that summary judgment was not appropriate in a case where a plaintiff was awarded 20 months’ reasonable notice damages after one month service with a company (Purchaser) that had bought the assets of her former employer (Vendor). The Court set aside the summary…

Appellate Court Holds Termination Clauses Must Be Read Together – If One Contravenes the ESA, All Are Unenforceable

In Waksdale v Swegon North America, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the “without cause” and “with cause” termination clauses in an employment contract must be read together: if one is not compliant with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), both are unenforceable. The plaintiff employee sued the defendant employer for damages for wrongful…

Appellate Court: Employee Can’t Transform Employer’s Supportive Leniency (Allowing Flexibility in Her Start Time) into Contractual Obligation

The Ontario Divisional Court recently considered the issue of whether flexibility offered by an employer to an employee alters a fundamental term of the employee’s employment contract. In Peternel v. Custom Granite & Marble Ltd., the Divisional Court upheld a trial judge decision that the employee’s 8:30 a.m. start time at work was an existing…

$1.27 Million Damages Award a Reminder to Employers of Perils Associated with Fixed Term Contracts

In McGuinty v. 1845035 Ontario Inc. (McGuinty Funeral Home), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded a plaintiff over $1.27 million in damages for constructive dismissal after only one year had elapsed of a 10 year consulting services agreement (Agreement). In the absence of a cancellation provision, the defendant was obligated to pay the Agreement…