Reaching Out – Fifteenth Edition

Dear Friends, We are back with another edition of Reaching Out. With 2020 behind us and some light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic tunnel, we thought it appropriate to reconnect with our Social Services clients with a Spring edition of Reaching Out. We chose not to publish Reaching Out last year as we…

Enforceability of Minimum Standards-Only Termination Clauses in Employment Contracts – What Employers Need to Know

On January 14, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada denied the employer’s leave to appeal application from the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Waksdale v Swegon North America. That decision held that termination clauses in employment contracts must be read together and if one contravenes the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), all…

Temporary Relief from ESA Termination and Severance Pay Obligations for Hospitality and Related Industries

On December 17, 2020, the Ontario government filed a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), Ontario Regulation 764/20: Terms And Conditions Of Employment In Defined Industries – Hospitality, Tourism And Convention And Trade Show Industries (Regulation). As stated by the government, the Regulation provides certain employers with an alternative to putting termination…

New Version of Employment Standards Poster is Available

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development recently published a new version of the Employment Standards in Ontario poster (Version 9.0). The poster contains information relating to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) with respect to minimum wage, hours and overtime, vacation time and pay, public holidays, leaves of absence and termination notice and…

Ontario Government Announces Extension of Temporary Relief from ESA Termination and Severance Provisions

On Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Ontario government announced that it would be extending the temporary relief measures from the termination and severance provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) until January 2, 2021. The temporary measures are found in Ontario Regulation 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL Regulation), and had been set to expire today (September 4, 2020). The IDEL Regulation has been amended to define the “COVID-19 period” as that period beginning on March 1, 2020 and ending on January 2, 2021

Ontario (Again) Updates Its COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Ontario employers who are planning for an eventual return to work have been keeping a close eye on the province’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool (Tool). The Tool directs Ontarians to self-isolate in certain circumstances. This is important because it relates to employers’ Occupational Health and Safety Act duties and their duty to provide statutorily-protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000.

Supreme Court of Canada Dismisses Uber Appeal – Proposed Class Action Can Now Proceed in Ontario Courts

On June 26, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada released Uber Technologies Inc. v. Heller and dismissed an appeal of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision which held that the arbitration clause in Uber’s standard form services agreement (Agreement) was invalid both because it was unconscionable and because it contracted out of mandatory provisions of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). We previously reported on the Court of Appeal decision.

The Latest Updates for School Boards Before the Summer

As the 2019 – 2020 school year draws to a close, it would be an understatement to say that the year did not go as expected. From the hurried transition to online learning to the ongoing adjustment to the “new normal” of synchronous learning, we know that our clients have successfully navigated unprecedented and difficult challenges – and that there will be more to come.

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…