In AB v Joe Singer Shoes Limited, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ("HRTO") awarded $200,000 to an employee for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect resulting from repeated sexual assault and harassment. This is one of the HRTO’s highest damage awards. The employee immigrated to Canada from Thailand in 1979 and obtained her first job in Canada working for Joe Singer, since deceased, at Joe Singer Shoes Limited. Joe Singer was the father of Paul Singer, the alleged perpetrator of the sexual assault and harassment. Paul Singer became the employee’s boss after the death of his father. Sometime after…
Non-compete agreements and clauses are common in employment contracts. Employers use non-compete clauses to protect their business interests from competition from former employees. Often the non-compete will set out a geographic space and time within which a former employee is prevented from competing in a certain activity.
In a recent case titled Ste-Croix v. Al-Hashi mi and Jawad Dentistry, following a termination without cause the Ontario Superior Court of Justice canvassed what constitutes "reasonable notice" and the factors the court will consider, what comprises reasonable efforts to mitigate damages, and when a motion for summary judgment is preferable to an unnecessary trial.
The recent case of Radikov v. Premier Project Consultants Ltd et al. is a cautionary tale of the importance of good faith in contractual relations after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed Premier’s appeal, finding Premier had acted as a "puppeteer" by keeping Mr. Radikov at its "beck and call" for roughly three months before attempting to terminate his fixed-term contract just two days before completion and refusing to pay Mr. Radikov’s outstanding invoices.
If the duty to accommodate is a well-known concept, the duty to inquire is a fuzzy notion. The principle is that an employee seeking accommodation for a disability is under a duty to disclose sufficient information to her employer to enable it fulfill its duty to accommodate. However, current decisions from various tribunals have shown, in accordance to the previous rules, that an applicant will not be held to a high standard of clarity in communication.
Reinstatement is the practice of re-installing an employee to his/her position as it existed prior to termination, or to the fullest extent possible, which may include the preservation of their pre-existing seniority, pension and other benefits.
In a recent case titled Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice affirmed that the tort of harassment is a valid cause of action and may be pleaded against an employer by an employee.
An employee who has been dismissed without cause is entitled to damages based on the income that individual would have earned during a period of reasonable notice. "Reasonable notice" will differ from case to case, but is determined by a variety of factors at the judge’s discretion. When calculating the income that the employee is entitled to, many factors must be assessed, such as bonuses.
In a recent case titled Doyle v. Zochem Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision to award both moral damages and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Code without subtracting one from the other. This case involved a female supervisor who was demeaned and belittled by a male manager in front of the rest of her work staff. Upon filing a complaint for sexual harassment, the employer terminated her without cause.