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Can Professional Associations Mandate Their Members’ Speech?
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De Bousquet PC of De Bousquet PC

Can Professional Associations Mandate Their Members’ Speech?

By Employment Law

Most professionals like engineers, doctors, pharmacists and lawyers are governed by professional associations. These professional associations actively engage in regulating their respective licensees to ensure a minimum level of competency with a view to protecting the public interest. Associations are also empowered to protect members of the public by maintaining the capacity to discipline and sanction their members. For instance, the Law Society of Ontario regulates the more than 50,000 lawyers who practice in the province and can investigate and sanction lawyers who have been found to violate the Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct or its By-Laws. Accordingly, these professional…

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The Gig-Economy, Inter jurisdictional Working Arrangements, and the Choice of Law

By Employment Law

One of the emerging trends in Canadian workplaces is the increasing number of flexible working arrangements. The rise of online services, and gig-economy apps like Uber and Doordash, has afforded many Canadians the ability to set their own hours. These work arrangements occur through independent contracting agreements that are either national or international in scope. For example, an Ontario corporation could enter into an exclusive distributor agreement with a British Columbia resident while an Alberta resident could enter into a service agreement with a California tech company. These inter-provincial and international arrangements create their own unique legal challenges, especially since…

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What Happens When Just Cause for Termination Is Discovered After an Employee Has Already Been Dismissed?

By Employment Law

Whether someone is terminated with or without just cause can have significant financial implications. Where an employer correctly terminates an employee for just cause, it is not required to provide the employee with any notice of termination or payment in lieu thereof, unlike where the dismissal is without cause. However, the employer does not necessarily have to get it right at the time that the dismissal is communicated to the employee. After-acquired cause refers to just cause for termination that is discovered after an employee has already been dismissed. Although it gives employers some room for error at the time…

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“Consideration” and Employment Law – How Archaic Legal Principles are Still Relevant to Very Modern Legal Problems

By Employment Law

An employment contract is the central document that binds both parties, by setting out their legal obligations and responsibilities. When a dispute arises, a judge analyzes the contract to try and determine what the parties agreed to. A contract of employment can exist between parties, even if it has not been reduced to writing. After-all, if the employee is performing work, and the employer is paying for the work, there is an agreement between the parties. Employment relationships that are not reduced to writing are often more favourable to the employee, especially because in most cases, a written contract serves…

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Is Your Employer Allowed to Lay You Off?

By Employment Law

Employers lay off their employees for a variety of reasons. Whether it be due to lack of work, financial issues, or some other reason, the impact is still the same for employees – loss of work. However, many people do not know whether they can do anything in response to being laid off. This post will outline some of the basic principles relating to layoffs and how employees can respond. What Is a Layoff? Many people believe that a layoff is the same thing as a termination. This is not the case – a layoff refers to an employer reducing…

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Are Terminated Employees Entitled to Unvested Stock Options That Would Have Vested During the Notice Period?

By Employment Law

The answer: Yes. How did we get here? The answer lies in the Court of Appeal for Ontario’s evolving approach to this issue in recent years. A terminated employee’s right to exercise stock options during the reasonable notice period has been an increasingly litigated issue that has been rife with uncertainty. Employers often take the position that the language used in these employee incentive agreements results in their cancellation on the date of termination. Unsurprisingly, employees assert entitlement to all non-discretionary remuneration that was a fundamental part of their compensation. In 2004, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released a…

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Arbitration Clauses and Contracting Out of Employment Standards Legislation – Why the Gig Economy Faces Uber Big Problems

By Uncategorized

One of the more recent additions to the modern landscape has been technology-based, independent contractor working relationships that are highly flexible and remote. Many have called the system made up of these new work arrangements the “gig economy.” The gig economy offers drivers, dog walkers, language speakers, and any other service provider, an ability to freelance their services through savvy tech companies like Uber and Foodora that have built powerful apps that link the freelancer to the customer.   While ingenious and an effective capitalization on the power of the internet, this new model has had some perverse effects on workers’…

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Don Cherry Fired from Sportsnet – Can an Employee be Fired for Making Controversial Remarks?

By Uncategorized

On November 9, 2019, legendary Hockey analyst Don Cherry made remarks during an on-air Coach’s Corner segment insinuating that immigrants benefit from the sacrifices made by Canada’s veterans but rarely wear poppies to acknowledge their sacrifices. Mr. Cherry’s off the cuff political commentary proved to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. On November 11, just two days later, Sportsnet president Bart Yabsley announced that Cherry had been fired.   Cherry’s fate begs the question: Did Sportsnet have a legal leg to stand on? Can an employer fire an employee for making controversial remarks?  Whether Mr. Cherry was terminated with or without…

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Can Negative Performance Affect Bonus Owed to an Employee During the Reasonable Notice Period?

By Uncategorized

As regular readers would know, if an employee has been terminated without cause, and the employee’s contract does not contain language limiting entitlements at termination to statutory minimums, that employee is owed reasonable notice of termination or pay in lieu thereof. The legal jargon for this is “common law notice.”      The common law notice period is the period of time that a court determines a terminated employee would reasonably need to secure alternative, similar employment. Generally, the notice period consists of one month for every year of service. The notice period can fluctuate based on the principles established in…

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Are You Being Subjected to Workplace Harassment and, If So, What Can You Do About It?

By Uncategorized

Unfortunately, many employees have negative experiences while at work. These can come in the form of not getting along with a co-worker, unfair performance reviews, getting yelled at by the boss, or any number of other situations that may come up in the workplace. However, it is not always easy to tell whether what one has been subjected to at his or her place of employment constitutes harassment. Further, many people do not know how they can address it or what their protections are. This post will provide an overview of the law of workplace harassment in Ontario, but will…

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