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Preventing Discrimination Based on Genetic Information
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De Bousquet PC of De Bousquet PC

Preventing Discrimination Based on Genetic Information

By Employment Law

We live in a time of rapid technological advancements, and that includes the field of biotechnology. As services that provide commercial genetic screening become more widespread and affordable, peoples’ genetic information is becoming more accessible. This information includes genetic predispositions to physical characteristics, personality traits, and disorders, to name a few. Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of people being assessed and responded to based on their genes.  Federal and provincial governments are aware of this possibility. They have begun taking steps to protect people from discrimination based on their genetic characteristics. In Ontario, Bill 40, the Human Rights Code…

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Former Shell Executive gets $800,000 for Wrongful Dismissal

By Employment Law

In Alberta, a former Shell Canada executive was found to have been wrongfully dismissed, and was awarded an impressive $800,000. The Facts Kathryn Underhill was a Vice President for Shell Canada for 18 months, and had worked at Shell Canada for nearly 17 years before becoming an executive. In 2015, the oil industry in Alberta was doing poorly, as oil prices were falling rapidly. Consequently, Shell decided to look for ways to save money. Underhill was instructed by Lorraine Mitchelmore, President of Shell, to find savings of $100 million from her department’s budget. On August 19, 2015, Underhill met with…

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Can Poor Economic Conditions Increase Reasonable Notice Period?

By Employment Law

Whenever the economy takes a downturn, people are more likely to lose their jobs. But does the state of the economy affect the reasonable notice period an employee is entitled to? As it turns out, it does. The fact that poor economic conditions increase the reasonable notice period can be traced back to the landmark case, Bardal v Globe and Mail Ltd. (1960), 24 DLR (2d) 140 (ONSC). This case sets out the basis for determining the reasonable notice period. Bardal holds that one of the key factors that shape the reasonable notice period is “the availability of similar employment”….

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Do Salaried Employees Get Overtime Pay?

By Employment Law

YES.  It does not matter how you are paid, be it hourly, or salary paid weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you are by default entitled to overtime pay under Part VIII of the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”). You would also be entitled to premium pay and public holiday pay.  Being paid via salary has many advantages. There are likely no longer issues of scheduling shifts and not knowing how much each paycheck will be. Salary also carries an implicit degree of job security, as the employer is committing to a longer-term relationship.  However, some employees have the critical misconception that they…

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Just Been Terminated – 3 Simple Things to Remember

By Employment Law

Being terminated is a terrifying process. In the words of the former Chief Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1987, Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self‑worth and emotional well‑being. Your livelihood, your daily routine, and your plans for the future are all tied up in work. At least some of your self-worth or self-identity will vanish when you’re terminated….

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What is Legal Advice, and is an Elephant a Tree, a Snake or a Spear?

By Employment Law

When people call our firm, they will have something particular on their minds. Usually, it is a recent termination or other workplace issues. Why else call a law firm in Hamilton, Ontario? We are not known for our 5-star meals or wide array of garden furniture.  Many people will look at their situation and narrow what they want to know down to a single question. Often that question is, “Is my termination package fair?” It will then be understandably frustrating when a lawyer will not answer that simple question, which the caller feels has a one-word answer. Why can’t a…

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Signing Deals with the Devil – Employment Contracts and You

By Employment Law

A common trope in popular culture is the deal with the devil, where a person signs away their soul for something. The usual result is that the devil tricks them, and the promised reward is not what they were expecting or had agreed to.  This would not be enforceable in Canada, and a client could sue for their soul back, performance of the contract so what they thought they were getting is delivered, or monetary damages for the loss of their soul and failure to receive what was agreed to, or combinations of the above.  A large reason this trope…

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9 Do’s and Don’ts of Employment Law

By Employment Law

1. Do actually read before signing. In our modern lives, we are presented with a lot of legal documents we must agree to for services. This unfortunately has led to a pattern of just hitting accept on a two-hundred-page End Use License Agreement. A contract of employment, which includes any documents you sign relating to your job no matter the title, should not be two-hundred pages. If after reading it, you have questions, ask a lawyer to go over the contract with you. Think of it as an insurance policy. [If your future employer o1bjects to you having a lawyer…

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Ghosting the Employee- Postponing the Problem of Covid-19 Layoffs

By Employment Law

You’ve been sitting at home staring at your phone and waiting for them to call and answer your messages. At first, it was a week. Then a month. And now you’re here. You weren’t ghosted by your date. You’ve been ghosted by your employer.  Under s. 6 of the regulation, if an employee’s hours of work or their wages are reduced or eliminated during the Covid-19 period, they will not be considered laid off.  Normally under s. 56 of the Employment Standards Act (ESA), if either of the above were to happen for longer than 13 weeks in a consecutive…

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Are Uber Drivers Employees?

By Employment Law

In this digital age where technology is revolutionizing the gig economy, food delivery and the taxi industries have been taken over by mobile apps. Uber is a popular multinational ride-hailing company that operates in Ontario. The drivers and riders may arrange for rides through the Uber mobile app, which also facilitates payments. The independent contractor drivers are a part of a growing gig economy, where workers may choose to accept each ride assignment at their own time. Uber drivers range from those who take the occasional, part-time gig to earn some cash on the side to full-time drivers who depend…

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