Tag archives: employee benefits

Overtime overhaul – small businesses want more time to prepare

With just about 90 days to go before the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule dramatically updating overtime regulations is scheduled to go into effect, small business owners have petitioned the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division seeking more time to prepare for and implement changes to the way they operate their businesses so that they … Continue reading

The importance of mobility clauses for Quebec employers

In order to meet their organizational needs, employers may need to relocate their employees’ workplace. However, relocating employees can be risky business for employers. The place of work is an important part of an employee’s working conditions. When employers make substantial changes to their employees’ working conditions, said employees can potentially claim that their original … Continue reading

Improper Comments on Social Networks: A Serious Cause Justifying Dismissal?

The employment contract of a “Montreal Impact Academy’s U14” team coach was recently terminated as he made racist comments on his private Facebook page following the defeat of France against Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. In a news release, the Montreal Impact shortly dissociated itself from these comments, considering that they were totally unacceptable … Continue reading

Whose jurisdiction is it anyway?

In the case of Brown v. University of Windsor, involving the University of Windsor and the president of its unionized Faculty Association, the Ontario Court of Appeal had a chance to clarify the situations in which situations arbitrators would have exclusive jurisdiction over labour disputes. The claim involved allegations that the University failed to satisfy … Continue reading

Employees must participate in the accommodation process

It’s never easy to talk about mental illness – particularly not with your employer. However, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently held that even if it’s uncomfortable, an employee may have the obligation to discuss their condition with the employer in order to allow the employer to come up with a proper accommodation. Last … Continue reading

Ontario Court Upholds Employment Agreement Provision that Limited Employee’s Notice of Termination to Statutory Minimum.

In Oudin v. Le Centre Francophone de Toronto, The Ontario Superior Court dismissed a motion for summary judgment brought by an employee who alleged that the termination provision in his employment agreement was unenforceable. This provision limited his entitlement to notice of termination to the minimum required by employment standards legislation. The court did find … Continue reading

Fixed costs for fixed-term contracts

What happens when an employer terminates an employee on a fixed-term contract? The Ontario Court of Appeal in Howard v Benson Group Inc. recently weighed in on the issue. The Court held that the employee was entitled to an amount equal to his salary and benefits for the unexpired term of the employment contract rather … Continue reading

New Considerations for Public Sector Employers

The Supreme Court of Canada recently rendered its decision in Commission scolaire de Laval v. Syndicat de l’enseignement de la région de Laval, 2016 SCC 8, which clarified two important legal points for public sector employers. First, the Court rejected the notion that a public sector committee that makes disciplinary decisions can refuse to provide … Continue reading

Bit-wise operations: paying employees in Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are very much “in vogue”. “Currencies” like bitcoin are maintained by computer-based algorithms, rather than the government or a central bank. They are so popular  that it’s been reported on in the past that employees have been rejecting Canadian dollar salaries for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. That said, there are not … Continue reading

Employer tagged for misrepresenting criteria for coverage under LTD policy

In January 2016, the Supreme Court of British Columbia released its decision in Feldstein v 364 Northern Development Corporation, 2016 BCSC 108. The employee in that case suffered from cystic fibrosis, a chronic, degenerative disease primarily affecting the lungs, since the age of nine. The employee stated that given his condition, he would not have … Continue reading

Practical Implications of Bhasin: Good Faith in Exercising Discretionary Power

Since Bhasin v Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, courts have been applying  the “organizing principle” of good faith in all contractual relationships thereby delinating its scope in different cirucmstances. One recent decision applying this principle addressess the circumstances where an employer excercises a discretionary contractual right to effectively deny an employee his compensation under a benefits … Continue reading

Highest court to revisit birth control coverage under ACA

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), the United States’ controversial health care coverage act, requires group health plans and insurers to cover preventive care and screenings for women. Under the related regulations, this coverage includes government-approved contraceptive methods, but the group health plan of a religious employer may be exempt from providing such coverage or … Continue reading

“I forgot my Doctor’s Note” – Timeliness of Medical Excuses for Workplace Absences

When does an employee have to provide a Doctor’s note to excuse a workplace absence? After the absence, during or before? A recent labour arbitration case provides some guidance: According to a provision in the collective agreement in this case, an employee could be fired if he or she was absent for more than three … Continue reading

What are the employment implications of the transfer of a business in the US?

When a buyer acquires the assets of another company, both the buyer and the seller must focus on federal and state laws in the United States which impact on employees who transition on the sale of the business.  For example, if a sufficient number of employees are affected, the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act … Continue reading

Ontario Ministry of Labour targets unpaid internships in its latest blitz

The Ontario Ministry of Labour (“MOL”) recently announced that it is undertaking an enforcement blitz focusing on unpaid internships. Between now and December 31, 2015, employment standards officers from the MOL will be visiting workplaces that have internship programs to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA” or “the Act”). In particular, the … Continue reading

Notice Entitlements under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act

When a company files for bankruptcy, employees are faced with uncertainty on a number of issues. Everything from outstanding wages to benefit entitlements are suddenly at risk. Further, when a company becomes insolvent, employees are often laid off in circumstances that fail to satisfy statutory or common law notice period entitlements. However, under the Bankruptcy … Continue reading

New executive order issued requiring federal contractors to offer employees paid sick leave

As he heads into the final year of his presidency, and in the face of continued Congressional impasse, President Obama continues to exercise his executive authority to issue directives targeting the federal contractor workforce. A new executive order requires that federal contractors offer employees up to seven days of paid sick leave.  Eligible employees will … Continue reading

Paid sick days law in California is amended

The California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (“the Act”) went into effect on January 1, 2015, but its key accrual and use provisions became effective on July 1. On July 13, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 304, amending California’s Sick Leave law to make immediate changes. Those amendments state: Employers may … Continue reading

NLRB passes on football players’ employee status

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) declined to assert jurisdiction to determine whether the Northwestern University (Northwestern) scholarship football players should be considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In April, we reported that the Regional Director of Region 13 of the NLRB found that scholarship football players from … Continue reading

What same-sex marriage means for employers

In June the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the equal protection guarantee provided by the Fourteenth Amendment to opposite-sex marriages extends to same-sex marriages. The opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, holds that “same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States” and that … Continue reading

Now streaming: happy new parents – tech employers set a high bar with paid parental leave

Tech industry giants Netflix and Microsoft this week have announced new generous and flexible parental leave policies as an incentive to attract and retain skilled employees in a highly competitive industry. Earlier this week, Netflix introduced an “unlimited” leave policy for new parents to take as much time as they want – with pay — … Continue reading
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