Otherwise known as
Michael’s soapbox

This Journal will share information and thoughts on a broad range of workplace issues and developments.

Limiting Language in Incentive Plans and Notice

September 4, 2020|

Bonus, commission, stock option and other incentive plans and programs form a significant and integral component of compensation for many employees. These plans are drafted by the employer and, often, communicated to employees on an annual basis at the start of, for example, the bonus year. Sometimes the plans are amended, sometimes they stay the same. In many cases the plans are distributed by email and the employee is required to electronically “accept” [...]

Harsh Termination Clause is Unenforceable – What a Surprise!

September 3, 2020|

It’s getting increasingly difficult for employers to enforce termination clauses in written contracts of employment and ancillary documents such as bonus, commission or stock option plans. This isn’t necessarily surprising given the trend in the case law that began some 10 or so years ago, but, at this point, the pendulum has swung far in the direction of the employee. I’ve always believed that employment contracts are valuable for all concerned. They bring [...]

Difficult Decisions Loom Large for Employers

September 1, 2020|

UPDATE:  On September 3, 2020 the Ontario Government extended the deeming effect of the Regulation to January 2, 2021.  As a result the leave of absence is extended until January 2, 2021.  The temporary layoff clock remains frozen for purposes of the Employment Standards Act, 2000, for now at least.  This 11th hour change really should have been announced sooner, but at least it provides some temporary relief. Employers who have temporarily laid [...]

Extensive Proposed Changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

July 21, 2020|

The Federal government has proposed significant changes to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (“CEWS”) to expand the scope and reach of the program. The government has been under pressure to make changes by, in particular, loosening the 30% reduction in revenue threshold. The government has released a Backgrounder and a News release. As of July 13, 2020, 262,200 companies were approved for the CEWS, with 675,530 applications received and 667,400 approved. The government [...]

Statistical Study on Layoffs, Re-Employment Prospects and More

June 29, 2020|

There are few studies dealing with the post-employment job prospects of terminated employees. Counsel for the terminated employee will always say that their client’s job prospects are dire and that an extended period of unemployment is probable if not certain. Counsel to the employer will argue that the period of unemployment will be short and that, given the availability of other employment opportunities and the skill set of the employee, alternate employment should [...]

Consequences of Not Responding to an Application under the Human Rights Code

June 19, 2020|

The consequences of failing to respond to an Application under the Human Rights Code (the “Code”) or to correspondence from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) are severe. I’ve written about this a number of times and a recent case illustrates the point. The Application involved an allegation of discrimination with respect to good, services and facilities and with respect to employment contrary to the Code. An individual who was identified in [...]

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