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Mississauga Employment Law Blog

Court Upholds an Employee-Friendly Interpretation of Termination Provisions in Employment Contracts

As an employee, by law, you are entitled to reasonable notice of termination of your employment. Employers however, often attempt to limit your legal entitlements by explicitly defining your rights upon termination in the employment contract. In the recent case of Singh v Qualified Metal Fabricators Ltd. an Ontario Court adopted an employee-friendly interpretation of these termination provisions, resolving the potential ambiguities in favour of the employee. While employers are allowed to contractually limit employees' common-law reasonable notice requirements, they are required to do so with complete precision.

Court speaks on the enforceability of termination clauses and the mandatory minimums under the Employment Standards Act

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Generally employees must be provided with the minimum entitlements to notice, benefits and severance in compliance with the Employment Standards Act (ESA) upon termination without cause. If an employee is provided with less than what is required under this legislation due to their employment contract falling below those minimums, or failing to address those requirements altogether (e.g. failing to address the right to benefits continuation), the court will find those employment provisions void, and the employee will be awarded the right to common law pay in lieu of notice, which generally exceeds the legislative minimums. In the recent decision of Oudin, the court provided much needed clarity on this issue. 

Government Takes a Stronger Stance on Sexual Harassment

As some of the recent cases we talked about on this blog illustrate (link to article about De Anna Granes), in addition to facing long hours, and strenuous working conditions, workers in the service industry can also often face harassing behaviour from their superiors. While some workers are able to obtain damages for injuries to their dignity and self-respect, many more continue to struggle with harassment due to fear of losing their jobs, or perhaps insufficient knowledge about their rights as employees. We find that often employees themselves believe that such behaviour is the norm and that dealing with it is an "on the job" requirement. By amending the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) earlier this month, the government finally recognized the seriousness of this issue, and made a first positive step to provide better protection for employees.

Employers responsible for protecting their employees from harassment on social media finds an Ontario Labour Arbitrator

According to a recent decision by an Ontario labour arbitrator, employers may now be liable for not protecting their employees from harassment on the employer's social media accounts.

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