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Archive for ‘Case Comment’

Employer’s Unilateral Change of Bonus Provisions Unenforceable

The Ontario Superior Court recently awarded 30 months’ notice period and bonus payments in full during that notice period to a long-service employee. The Judge noted that termination without cause in this case resulted in forced resignation as comparable employment was not available for the 62-year-old employee who had devoted 37 years to the company, and was therefore entitled to 30 months’ notice period. Moreover, the altered conditions of employment whereby bonus payments would only be payable if employed on date of payout was struck down as it was not appropriately communicated to affected employees-as the Judge noted that posting . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Right to Terminate Group Benefits at 65 on the Road to a Successful Challenge

The number of workers over the age of 65 has risen significantly in recent years. The increasing number of older employees who choose to remain in the workplace, combined with the elimination of mandatory retirement across Canada, has put into question the issue of the termination of benefits after an employee reaches the age of 65.

While most employers routinely terminate benefits at age 65, the changing workforce demographic has created a demand for benefits coverage for older workers. However, providing benefits to employees past the age of 65 can be difficult because insurers either will not provide the coverage, . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

CanniMed Sues Aurora Cannabis for $725,000,000

2018 began with a bang in the Canadian cannabis industry.

After the markets closed this past Friday, January 12, 2018, CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. (“CanniMed”), announced that it had commenced a lawsuit against Aurora Cannabis Inc. (“Aurora”) and a number of large CanniMed shareholders.

In the announcement, CanniMed indicated that the claim was for $725 million in damages resulting from the defendants’ (alleged) “unlawful actions that have negatively affected the appreciation of the value of common shares of CanniMed and prevented CanniMed from pursuing alternative change of control transactions for the benefit of the CanniMed shareholders.”

While the press release contained . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

CRTC Compufinder Decision Lowers CASL Spam Penalty

The CRTC recently released 2 CASL decisions on Compufinder. If this sounds familiar, it is because this is an appeal from an initial finding in 2015 that levied a $1.1 million penalty.

Compufinder took the position that CASL is unconstitutional. Many legal experts have questioned the ability of the Federal Government to pass this legislation. The CRTC decided that CASL is constitutional. But this is not the last word. Inevitably this will be argued in court. This decision is required reading for anyone who finds themselves in a position to challenge the act in the courts. Ironically, the delay . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

Employers Can Be Found Liable for Negative Employment References

Two recent cases out of Ontario’s Superior Court, Papp v Stokes Economic Consulting Inc., (Papp) and Kanak v Riggin, (Kanak), provide guidance to employers on avoiding liability when giving employment references. Although in both Papp and Kanak the employers were cleared of any liability, both cases confirm that employers can be found liable for defamation when providing a negative reference. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Court Grants City of Toronto Injunction Against Illegal Cannabis Dispensaries

A highly-anticipated decision was released by Madam Justice Pollak of the Ontario Superior Court on October 16, 2017, granting the City of Toronto an interlocutory injunction against illegal cannabis dispensaries and their landlords which prohibits the dispensaries from operating until a final hearing is conducted in December 2018.

In her 46-paragraph decision, Justice Pollak focused heavily on whether the balance of convenience fell in favour of granting the City’s requested injunction vs. allowing the dispensaries to remain open pending a final adjudication in December 2018.

Justice Pollak summarized the lengthy amount of evidence put forward by each side before stating . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Compliment or Sexual Harassment: Where Do You Draw the Line?

Written wholly by Doug Macleod Employment and labour lawyer at MacLeod Law on First Reference Talks

Despite a number of legislative initiatives that are intended to reduce and ultimately eliminate sexual harassment in society, sexual harassment continues to be a problem in Ontario’s workplaces.

One of the more nuanced areas of sexual harassment law is what kind of language a male can direct towards a woman in the workplace. Sometimes there is a fine line between complimenting a female co-worker and sexually harassing her.

An occasional non-sexualized compliment is usually not a problem but a comment of a sexual nature . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Toronto’s Bid for Injunction Against Marijuana Dispensaries Under Reserve

The City of Toronto squared off last week in court against a chain of illegal marijuana dispensaries (“Canna Clinic”) and their owners in a bid to shut the stores down once and for all.

The City sought an interim and interlocutory injunction restraining Canna Clinic and its owners from, among other things, using the properties from which they operate to sell, store or distribute marijuana.

The City’s application was brought under section 380 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 which allows the City to bring an application to restrain any conduct which contravenes a city by-law. In this particular . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Tribunal Addresses Disabled Employee Resignations

In addition to affirming that an employee’s resignation must be clear and unequivocal to be valid, this case tells us that employers do not have a greater onus when it comes to long-term disabled employees who resign. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal did not accept the employee’s claim that it was unreasonable in the circumstances for her employer to conclude that she wished to resign without further inquiry. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Ontario Court Approves $31.2 Million in Legal Fees for Class-Action Counsel

An Ontario Superior Court judge has approved the payment of $31.2 million in class counsel’s legal fees in the Volkswagen “dieselgate” class action.

The legal fees comprise $26 million in fees, just under $1 million in disbursements and taxes of approximately $3.5 million.

The Canadian class action itself settled with the defendants agreeing to pay the class $2.1 billion. The U.S. class action settled for just over $10 billion.

It is noteworthy that the amount of legal fees agreed upon in the Canadian class action was over and above the amount of the $2.1 billion settlement. In other words, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Court Stays Criminal Negligence Charge Against Worker

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice stayed a criminal negligence charge against a boom truck worker who pleaded guilty to an Occupational Health and Safety Act charge three years earlier after causing a workplace fatality. The Court reasoned, in part, that the police’s uncertainty in laying the criminal charges after the worker’s guilty plea to the OHSA charges constituted a breach of the sense of fair play. The Court cited a breach of sections 7 and 11(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation