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CIRB ruling sets a 50% income threshold for who is considered a Dependent contractor

By Employment Law

“It depends” is a phrase that can be both frustrating and confusing. When seeking an answer, few things can be as irritating as being told, “It depends.” With some employers intentionally using the confusion over the difference between an employee and an independent contractor to strip workers of statutory protections and increase their profits, this is an ongoing issue. Many workers are unaware that there is a third category, dependent contractors. This third category is often difficult to determine. It relies on assessing all the factors in the employment relationship. For better or worse, some clarity has been added by…

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Do I get Anything if Terminated on a Fixed-Term Contract?

By Employment Law

Yes, and probably more than you think. For many employees, the first time they read their employment contract is when they are hired, and the second is when they are fired. It can be years or even decades between signing a document and parts of it becoming relevant, which can be daunting for many employees who need help with their rights. Adding to this is that Employment Law is usually rapidly changing, and something that may have been true a few years ago is now completely the opposite. This is why getting legal advice before signing anything upon termination is…

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A Lesson in Costs: Giacomodonato v. PearTree Securities Inc.

By Employment Law

One aspect of litigation that often causes equal parts apprehension and confusion, especially for employees with little experience with the Court system, is cost awards, colloquially known as “costs.” While there have been many attempts to clarify what costs are to help those entering litigation better understand the risks, the discretionary nature means that some uncertainty is built in. Employees seeking to bring a wrongful dismissal suit are often understandably frightened by the mere existence of costs. Indeed, for an employee who made under $60,000 per year, the mere thought of having to pay even a portion of the actual…

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The Minimum Wage Went Up Again, Now What?

By Employment Law

It’s that time of year again. Every year, when October 1st rolls around, there is a chance that the minimum wage rates may increase based on the inflation rate. Nearly a million workers—around 942,400—benefitted from bigger paycheques this month. The Ontario government increased the minimum wage to $16.55 an hour, up from $15.50 an hour—a 6.8% pay raise for low-income workers. With some quick math, that works out to an increase of almost $2,200 per year for someone who puts in a 40-hour work week. This new minimum wage is the highest of any province in the country (though it…

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Temporary Worker? How to get Properly Paid

By Employment Law

With the proliferation of Internet job postings has come a proliferation of Temporary Help Agencies. Employers pay these companies to find temporary workers for their business. Unfortunately, some employers have found that by working with Temporary Help Agencies, they can steal, defraud, and intimidate employees without consequence. Employer-endorsed intimidation and wage theft, an ongoing issue in Ontario, is finally getting the attention it deserves. In the 2020-2021 period, the Ontario government estimates that over 4.2 million dollars in unpaid wages were owed to over 10,000 temporary workers. These funds were pocketed by both large and small employers who abused the…

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Federally Regulated Employee? You’ll Soon Be Entitled to More

By Employment Law

Starting next year on February 1, 2024, federally regulated employees may be entitled to more when their employment is terminated. Industries such as air transport, banks, postal services, radio and TV broadcasting, railway and road transport, port services, First Nations band councils, or any business that is integral to the operation of one of the above fall under the Canada Labour Code (“the Code”) and must abide by federal rules and regulations. That means that if you are employed in one of these industries, and your workplace fails to keep up with these changes, you could be getting less than…

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You Earned that Bonus! (Even if You’ve Been Fired)

By Employment Law

Many employees receive bonuses from their employers, whether it is a small amount for the holidays or a significant sum. In fields such as sales, that “bonus” can account for everything an employee earns above minimum wage.    This means that many employees depend on their bonus as part of their overall compensation package to cover both expected expenses, such as a Christmas bonus earmarked for presents, or unexpected ones, such as car trouble. If you are depending on a bonus, it can be devastating if you’re fired and don’t receive it.    Many employees incorrectly believe they are not…

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No Holds Barred When a “Wins at All Costs” divorce strategy Means Costs Awarded

By Employment Law, Good Faith

S. v. A. – https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2022/2022onsc55/2022onsc55.html Divorce is an emotional time for all parties involved. Even in the most amicable cases, there will be tensions, a lot of which are created by the fear of what your ex might do now that you are no longer functioning as a unit.  Despite the best efforts of the parties, these emotions extend to any children involved. Worse, however, is when one side isn’t putting in any effort at all. Then, the emotional damage can be catastrophic.  Hurt feelings and anger towards your former spouse may tempt you to adopt a “win at all…

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Workplace Investigations Guide for Employees

By Employment Law

As an employee, you are entitled to a safe and healthy workplace. Harassment or an unsafe working environment is never acceptable. When an incident occurs, or a complaint is made, a workplace investigation is almost always required. This brief guide will provide an overview of what to expect when a workplace investigation takes place.  Step One: Complaint If you notice there is a health and safety problem in your workplace, your first step is to report it to your employer. If you are experiencing or notice incidents of workplace harassment, you can also report that to your employer. Employers are…

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Your employer owes you respect even at the time of termination

By Employment Law, Good Faith

Being fired from your job is unpleasant. Even worse if your employer fires you in a way that is humiliating, or cruel. However, if your employer kicks you on the way out, they can be punished for this later by the Courts.  One former employee in the recent case, Pohl v Hudson’s Bay Company, was awarded $45,000 in moral damages for his employers handling of his termination and $10,000 in punitive damages, on top of the 24 months’ notice period he was already entitled to. What are Moral and Punitive Damages? Every termination is understandably painful. However in rare circumstances,…

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Workplace harassment complaints and reprisals

By Employment Law

If you are experiencing harassment in the workplace, there might be a few worries holding you back from making a complaint to your employer. Will your employer punish you for making a complaint? Will they reduce your hours or stop considering you for a promotion? Will they fire you?   Consider seeking advice from an employment lawyer before you make a complaint. Together you can strategize on how to best communicate your concerns to your employer. You can also ensure that if your employer tries to retaliate later, you will be prepared.   The Occupational Health and Safety Act (“OHSA”) doesn’t only…

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