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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions’

Employer Wins Damages for Time Theft and Unpaid Debt

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent British Columbia ruling, an employee who engaged in a pattern of time theft was found to have been rightfully dismissed for cause. As a result of the dismissal being upheld, the employee was forced to repay a debt she owed to the employer due to an advance agreement that funded her home office supplies and her pursuit of professional credentials. . . . [more]

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

Fired for Physical Flare Up Following Phone Find

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

You’re familiar with the scenario: a momentary physical flare-up over nothing provides the employer with arguable grounds for termination. They’re arguable because there are no hard-and-fast rules that termination results in every case of physical violence. In a legal challenge, arbitrators pay close attention to anything the employee says to take responsibility for his or her actions or to show remorse. In 2022 CanLII 112111 (CA LA), we see how significant the mitigating factor of an apology-or the lack of one-can be. . . . [more]

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

Unsupported Retaliation Allegation Goes Nowhere

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Employees have important protections under workplace legislation that encourages them to bring forward complaints of health and safety issues so the employer can ensure the safety of all. If a complainant employee is the victim of perceived retaliation by the employer, they can seek a remedy. The litigation in 2022 BCSC 1558 (CanLII) highlights some of the legal issues that can arise. . . . [more]

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

David Slays Goliath in Food Delivery Arbitration Case

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Private delivery people shuttling food orders around town is a common sight in today’s gig economy. Between the lowly driver and the huge multi-national corporation they carry the food for, it’s easy to imagine who holds the real power in this type of working arrangement. In the case decided by the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench in 2022 MBKB 178 (CanLII), the court shifted the balance of power toward the “little guy” by ruling that mandatory acceptance of an arbitration clause was unconscionable and lacked consideration. By rendering the clause . . . [more]

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

Employer Pays Full Legal Costs for a Baseless Injunction

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent Ontario ruling, an employer was forced to pay an extremely high amount in costs after attempting to enforce its non-competition and non-solicitation clauses twice in the middle of the same legal proceedings. The employer had brought two separate motions that both sought to prevent its former employee from working for its competitor. However, the fact that the employee had actually ceased working for its competitor and that the non-competition and non-solicitation clauses in its contracts had actually expired made the employer’s request impossible. The impossibility . . . [more]

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

Lawyer-Client Bond Broken: The Unwritten Rule

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

Faced with a unique set of facts, an Ontario court in 2022 ONSC 5890 (CanLII) let two in-house lawyers off the hook when their former client sued them following the breakdown of their employment relationship. Would-be litigants in situations like the plaintiff’s would do well to remember that things aren’t always as they at first seem. It should almost go without saying: litigants had better have the evidence to prove it if they allege a breach of contractual or fiduciary duties. . . . [more]

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

No Failure to Mitigate if No Available Work

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent ruling, it was found that an employee was successful at fulfilling his mitigation obligations, even though he was not successful at mitigating his loss. Although failing to look for a job seems like a clear failure to mitigate a loss of employment, this ruling clarified that an employee only fails to mitigate when comparable employment is actually available. If an employee’s job market does not contain any comparable roles, any failure to take reasonable steps to find comparable employment will not be a failure . . . [more]

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

Employers Seeking Review of OLRB Orders Must Pay to Play

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent ruling, an employer’s application for review of an order to pay was denied after the employer failed to provide the required deposit. The employer had stated it had no ability to pay the deposit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Ontario Labour Relations Board refused to waive the deposit. The employer offered to enter a payment plan, but the Ontario Labour Relations Board also rejected this suggestion. . . . [more]

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

Low Ball Settlement Offer Costs Employer

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In his brief reasons for the decision on a motion concerning costs, Justice Frederick Myers of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice didn’t mince words. Focused squarely on issues of fairness and access to justice, the judge awarded significant costs to the plaintiff in a wrongful dismissal matter while providing clear guidance to employers about how to handle such situations.

The decision in Court File Number CV-20-00646993 followed a written hearing at the end of October 2022. The judge noted that the litigation was all about money, and it wasn’t the . . . [more]

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

Court Sinks Teeth Into Bad Contract

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

It’s often said that the employer-employee relationship is one that can easily reflect a power imbalance, leading courts to look very carefully at the provisions of employment contracts to make sure they are clear and legally enforceable. Recognizing that employers can take advantage of unsuspecting employees by couching unfair conditions in legalese, courts sometimes resort to the principle of contra proferentem to resolve ambiguity in favour of the weaker party. Other times, they will declare portions of the contract void for running contrary to legislation. A recent decision of Ontario’s Superior . . . [more]

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

To Be or to Be Enforceable As? That Is the Question

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

The beginning of Prince Hamlet’s soliloquy may have had a nicer ring to it, but the above title captures the essence of the issue in a recent British Columbia decision. In British Columbia (Director of Employment Standards) v. Kwok, [2022], the Court of Appeal sheds light on the limitation period that applies to a determination of the Director of that province’s Employment Standards Branch filed with the Supreme Court registry. Forced to choose between three options, the court settled on the longest one, a 10-year limitation period. As it turns . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Employer’s Immoral Manner of Dismissing Long Term Worker Deserving of Punishment

Written by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, LL.B., Articled Clerk, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent Ontario Superior Court ruling, an employer was ordered to pay a wrongfully dismissed employee $10,000 in punitive damages and $45,000 in aggravated damages on top of 24 months of pay in lieu of notice. In total, the employee was awarded approximately $150,000 in damages. The additional damages that were awarded made up one-third of the total amount and were awarded due to the employer’s conduct that it displayed when dismissing the employee. While its wrongful dismissal of a loyal long-term employee was egregious, the . . . [more]

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