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…

Appellate Court Finds Waiver of Common Law Notice Valid, Considers Continuity of Service under ESA

In Ariss v NORR Limited Architects & Engineers, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision of a motion judge who considered the appellant’s entitlements under the common law and the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) upon termination. Background In 1986, the appellant began employment with a company which was sold to the respondent employer…

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Appeal in Case Which Considered Constructive Dismissal, Long-Term Incentive Plan Entitlements and Duty of Good Faith

The Supreme Court of Canada has granted leave to appeal from a decision which considered long-term incentive plan entitlements as part of a constructive dismissal claim, and, in the dissent, the duty of good faith and honesty in the performance of employment contacts. In Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. v. Matthews, an employee resigned from employment…

Appellate Court Considers Employment Issues Arising out of a Termination Post-Sale of Business

In Kerzner v American Iron and Metal Company Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal considered a number of complex issues arising out of a sale of business and successive employment contracts entered into after that sale. The Court provided guidance on what can and cannot be agreed to during those transitions and how releases should…

OMHRA Fall ECHO Newsletter Features Two Articles by Jessica Toldo

The Fall 2018 issue of OMHRA’s ECHO newsletter features two articles co-authored by Hicks Morley lawyer Jessica Toldo.

In the article “Considerations for Municipal Employers When Drafting Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts,” Jessica discusses the importance of municipal employers having a clear and well-crafted termination provision to minimize the risk that a reviewing court will find the clause to be unenforceable, should litigation arise and highlight five key considerations when drafting termination clauses in light of some important developments in the case law.

The second article authored by Jessica, “HRTO Determines Requiring Proof of Eligibility to Work in Canada on a Permanent Basis is Discriminatory,” reviews a recent case where the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found that a pre-employment ‘permanence requirement’ was discriminatory on the basis of the applicant’s citizenship.