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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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What Happens if my Employer Goes Bankrupt?

By Employment Law

When an employer declares or is declared bankrupt, or goes into receivership, it can be terrifying for an employee. Not only will employees be about to or already have lost their job, but because a bankruptcy event has occurred there are not enough funds to pay everyone owed. At the bare minimum, a final paycheck will be owed, but often months of pay or other entitlements will be unpaid. Employees can easily come to the wrong conclusion about their rights in this situation. Given that they will be competing with banks and large corporations who will have extensive legal agreements,…

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Do Employment Releases Apply to Sexual Harassment?

By Employment Law

When employers and employees settle disputes relating to the cessation of the employee’s employment, the employee will generally be required to sign a release document that will prevent him or her from bringing any claims or applications against the former employer relating to his or her employment. Although straightforward on its face, sometimes it can be difficult to determine when an issue is employment-related for the purposes of such a release. In Watson v. The Governing Council of the Salvation Army of Canada, 2018 ONSC 1066, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had to determine whether sexual harassment in the…

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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 favorable to the employee, especially because in most cases, a written contract…

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影子员工—— 因Covid-19而延长临时裁员时长的问题

By 官话

坐在家里,你一直盯着手机,等待雇主的回电或短信。一周、一个月……。然后,恍然大悟,你被老板的忽悠了。 依据法律规定,Covid-19 期间,员工不因工作时间或工资减少或取消在而被视为解雇。 通常情况下,依据《就业标准法》(ESA)第56条,如果上述情况在连续20周内发生超过13周,雇员被视为自动终止工作。 现在,因Covid-19原因的延期期限将于 2021 年 1 月 2 日到期(追溯从 2020 年 3 月 1 日开始),之后将再次适用标准 ESA 规则。 劳工、培训和技能发展部长 Monte McNaughton声明:“解雇和遣散费的成本可能使企业无法生存和重新开业。这就是为什么我们采取行动,确保企业生存下来,让工人们重返工作岗位。  政府的初衷无可厚非,但是,公众更担心此规定和超长休假对雇主的行为和员工的权利的影响。 根据 ESA 和普通法,解雇并获得遣散费本是员工的一项权利。 部长将其解读为对企业和经济的损害,这着实令是一个令人担忧的声明,尤其是在公众更关注就业安全的时候。 解雇和遣散费概念基于合理通知。无故解雇员工时,雇主只有三种选择。 雇主可以书面通知雇员,其工作将提前终止,劳动关系将在指定日期结束。但雇主不得更改雇员的工资、福利、权益或其他雇佣条款。这是法律意义上的工作通知。 另一种选择是,雇主可以向雇员提供相当于他们在通知期内应得的工资。其中包括福利和如果他们仍在工作就会得到的所有权利,如养老金缴款。雇主在解雇通知发放的同一天结束劳动关系。这就是所谓的代通知金。 最后,雇主可以选择使用上述两种选择的组合,前提是两者的总和符合ESA的最低强制性规定。 根据《综合就业计划》第57条规定,通知金的标准数额以员工的工作时间为依据。特定的情况下,还有额外的代偿通知金额。大多数员工也有权根据普通法获得通知,这一比例往往要高得多,普通法通知基于许多因素,如工作年限、雇员年龄、工作类型,以及是否有相似的就业机会。这些因素表明,通知代偿金根本目的是为员工提供足够的收入来维持他们的生活,直到他们找到替代工作。 任何时候,雇员和雇主之间都应以最大善意真诚相待。 如果临时裁员期间,雇员仍受雇于雇主,此种情况应定义为减少或取消工作时间或工资,而不是法律意义上劳动合同的暂停或终止。 在召回员工或增加他们的工作时间的过程中,雇主依然必须以诚待人。 违反此义务的示例包括, 如果雇主雇佣了新员工来履行被解雇员工的职责,即使是部分职责,该临时裁员将不再是“由于员工患有规定传染病”,这种临时裁员应定义为非出于善意。 如果雇主在召回员工的过程中存在歧视, 即由于年龄、性别、种族、残疾或《人权法》 (OHRC) 中规定的其他任何因素,拒绝员工重返工作岗位,这种临时裁员应定义为非出于善意 雇主不得以员工之前或现在因OHRC、ESA 或《职业健康与安全法》的投诉为由决定推迟召回员工。 那将是一种非法的报复行为。 请谨记,我们讨论的临时裁员只能出于与Covid-19相关的原因。尽管疫情的巨大影响涉及社会的方方面面,但如果任何裁员都以此为借口,该临时裁员就可能会受到质疑。 如果雇佣之初员工就被警告裁员的风险,也因此雇佣双方没有签订合法有效的雇佣合同,那么裁员本身就是一种推定性的解雇。虽然O. Reg 228/20也载有与Covid-19临时裁员有关的推定性解雇条款,但推定性解雇比ESA第56 (c)条的规定的自动终止条款复杂得多。 如果您因 Covid-19 而导致工作时间或工资减少,或者您的雇主如何召回员工有疑虑,联系De Bousquet PC律师事务所,您将会有意想不到的收获。  

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面对失业,三件事情需谨记

By 官话

加拿大最高法院前首席大法官迪克森1987年曾说: 失业是一个可怕的过程。 如今,任何人想在社会上谋生并上发挥一技之长,那么工作将成为他生活中不可或缺的要素,职业也成了个体自我认同、自我价值和幸福感的重要组成部分。 生计、日常及对未来的期许等许多方面都和工作紧密相连。失业对大部分人来说,至少意味着自我价值观或社会认同感的部分消失。 “我能做些什么来避免这种情况吗?” “我是个坏员工吗?” “我能找到另一份工作吗“”这些问题时时萦绕在失业者的脑海。失业是一个非常脆弱的人生阶段, 用加拿大最高法院法官 Iacobucci 的话来说,“雇佣关系破裂的时刻是员工最脆弱,因此最需要保护的时候。” 让问题更加复杂,更加不具确定性的是,雇主一般不会告知您什么时候,因为什么被解雇。但失业不可避免地导致您财务状况不稳定。为此,De Bousquet PC 律师事务所给您三个提示。 无须惊慌 失业带给人的恐惧与慌张,就像现代社会的人突然看到一只猛冲过来的剑齿虎。恐惧加速人体内皮质醇大量分泌,这种过多的“逃跑或战斗“”的荷尔蒙常常导致人们做出错误的决定。 切记,您无须与您的经理或人力资源代表发生争端(战斗)。 任何攻击性行为都会让事情变得不可控制。由于争吵然,您可能会不假思索地“愤怒地签字”,亦或拒绝考虑任何建设性的提议。 逃跑也是如此,大多有此想法的人往往会为了摆脱糟糕状况而轻易签署“离职协议”,或者匆忙终止会议。 当尘埃落定时,他们甚至都不知道自己曾经做了什么。 鲜为人知的是“战斗或逃跑”的第三部分,即 “惊呆(发懵)”。 就像突然被汽车探照灯照着的鹿,瞬间惊呆或反应迟钝和麻木。 无论哪种情形,处于懵懂迷茫状态下的员工很难记住发生了什么,签署了什么或同意了什么。 因此,面对解雇,员工必须保持冷静镇定,以确保: 获取尽可能多的信息 当你被解雇时,你要明确:解雇生效日即工作的最后一天;如果是因故解除劳动关系,您需要明确知道解雇的原由、所依据的合同条款及遣散费金额。。 劳动关系终止时,雇主通常会赔付法定最低限额的赔偿金,当然,如果您同意签署放弃劳动仲裁的弃权协议,雇主会额外支付一笔费用。该费用在弃权协议上常常被表述为“我们非常乐意”,“作为您对公司巨大贡献的感谢”。其实,这都是谎言,否则为什么要解雇呢? 根据合同法,有效的合同需要支付对价,但合法权益是您固有的权利,如果雇主希望您放弃某种权利,他们也必须支付对价。然而,金钱永远无法购买您的权利,尤其是普通法赋予您的权利。 当您被因故解雇时,雇主通常不会明示原因,理由是出于他们的“善意”、“恩典”,这样您的雇佣记录就会保持干净,因此您就有权享受失业保险的福利。 举个例子来说,如果我说我有证据证明你欠我 $ 50,000,你可以拿你的车来抵债,但我不出示证据, 你会不会认为我在抢劫呢? 即使雇主明示了您被解雇的原因,并列出了清单,请把它把它交给律师。因为并非所有因故解雇都无需支付赔偿金,法院这方面的判决也很多。例如,在 Attzs v. Saputo Dairy Products Canada G.P. 案中,原告在乳品厂被拍下吸电子烟,尽管该行为违反了食品安全法及公司政策,但其并不足以导致被解雇。  一旦您获得了上述信息,您需要: 约见您的律师 如果一名员工因为在牛奶和奶酪配送仓库吸电子烟,且有视频为证,该工人在被调查时也承认了这一点,该员工因此被解雇。您如何定义此解雇呢? 该解雇为因故解雇; 该解雇为无故解雇。 这就是您需要联系De Bousquet PC 律师事务所的原因。 如果您已被解雇或工作中遇到什么问题,请立即致电416-616-5628,本所律师将竭诚为您提供法律服务。

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