Tag archives: Employee

What rights do workers have to rest breaks in Germany?

This post was also contributed by Sebastian Kutzner, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich). Due to increasing demands for a work life balance, uncertainty as to employees’ rights to rest periods, in particular, is widespread. German law distinguishes between two types of rest periods: Rest breaks (to be granted during working time); and Resting time … Continue reading

Employee, worker or self-employed?

In UK employment law a person’s employment status determines both their rights and responsibilities. An individual can be an employee, a worker or self-employed.  Whilst traditionally individuals were employees or self-employed there has been a significant rise in “worker” status.  The recent reported case of Aslam and others v Uber BV considered whether drivers had … Continue reading

Reasonable Notice: it Goes Both Ways

In Gagnon & Associates Inc. v Jesso, 2016 ONSC 209, the defendants (“Jesso” and “Cameau”) had been working as salesmen for the employer (“Gagnon”) for ten years when they resigned. They had been an integral part of the defendant’s operations, and were jointly responsible for approximately 60 per cent of the defendant’s sales. The defendants … Continue reading

What rights and protections are there for part-time workers?

This post was also contributed by Dimitri Schaff, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich). Currently, about one quarter of all employment relationships in Germany are based on part-time models, the proportion of part-time to full-time employees having increased by about 12 per cent since 2001. Furthermore, as a result of the implementation of the EU Part-time Workers … Continue reading

What rights and protections are there for workers on zero hours contracts in Germany?

Unlike in the U.K. and other EU member states, zero hours contracts are not (yet) common practice in Germany. To date, other arrangements aimed at achieving “flexible working” such as fixed-term or part-time contracts, secondment of personnel and – more recently – contracts to provide services have been more widespread. However, as German case law … Continue reading

Quebec Labour Tribunal rules on decision to terminate a high paid employee

The Tribunal administratif du travail recently released Major c. Nova DM Média Canada inc., 2016 QCTAT 4423, which clarified an employer’s burden of proof to demonstrate that an employee was laid off as part of an administrative reorganization rather than dismissed not for good and sufficient cause. In this decision, administrative judge François Caron relied … Continue reading

A warning for a slap : is it reasonable ?

Under French employment law, the definition of a disciplinary sanction is broad as it is defined by law as being “any measure, other than a verbal observation, taken by an employer in response to an act of an employee which the employer considers incorrect, whether or not such measure has an immediate effect upon the … Continue reading

What are the latest developments on whistleblowing in the workplace?

French employment law does not yet provide for a comprehensive and consistent set of rules for the purpose of protecting whistleblowers. Instead, French employment law tackles issues arising out of whistleblowing situations through a relatively meager set of legislative provisions. Current legislation Under currently applicable legislation, no employee can be disciplined, dismissed or discriminated against … Continue reading

“What are the latest developments on whistleblowing in the workplace in Germany?”

Apart from the well-known Wiki-leaks, recent prominent cases of whistleblowing such as Lux-leaks, the Panama Papers or the case of the German geriatric nurse Brigitte Heinisch, who was dismissed after revealing the ill-treatment of elderly people in a Berlin retirement home, continue to highlight the continued relevance of the topic “whistleblowing”. While this has resulted … Continue reading

Reform of the German Law on Temporary Employment

This post was also contributed by Bastian Semmel, International Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Frankfurt). With effect from 1 January 2017, the German legislation on temporary employment will be reformed, as the Federal Cabinet recently passed a draft law regarding this matter on 1 June 2016. These changes are designed to address the misuse of temporary … Continue reading

What measures are in place (or being proposed) to address gender pay inequality in the workplace in France ?

Gender pay inequality remains a topical issue in France despite the introduction of numerous pieces of legislation intended to suppress the persistent pay gap in average remuneration between women and men. Although French employment law theoretically prohibits any discrimination based on gender and requires that employers ensure equal remuneration between women and men occupying a … Continue reading

Fair P(l)ay in Germany? – What measures are in place (or proposed) to address gender pay inequality in the workplace

This post was also contributed by Ebru Tirel, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich). In Germany, “Equal Pay Day” is widely observed. It marks the day from which women are deemed to start to earn wages in that calendar year, where men have started to earn wages since January 1st. This year, Equal Pay Day was … Continue reading

OHRC Takes a Stand on Gendered Dress Codes

The Human Rights Commission of Ontario (“HRCO”) very recently clarified its stance on gender-specific dress codes by issuing a policy position on the subject.  The policy takes aim at sexualized dress codes found mainly in the restaurant and bar industries.  Of particular concern to the HRTO were any formal or informal policies requiring women to … Continue reading

The occurrence of willful misconduct no longer constitutes an exception to the payment of the indemnity in lieu of paid leave in France

Under French employment law, there is a classic distinction between dismissals for “gross misconduct” (faute grave) and willful misconduct (faute lourde) regarding the consequences of such misconduct for the employee. Although in both cases the employee loses his/her entitlement to a notice period and to a dismissal indemnity, an employee dismissed for willful misconduct will also … 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

Record Award: Ontario Human Rights Tribunal Awards $150,000 in Compensation

In an unprecedented decision from last May (and worth discussing again), the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the Tribunal) awarded a migrant worker $150,000 in compensation for injury to her dignity, feelings, and self-respect under the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) as a result of sexual harassment and reprisal at the hands of her employer’s … Continue reading

Is it possible for employers to change the terms of employment contracts?

At first sight, the answer to this question would be: only by mutual agreement. But once you take a closer look there are many ways and situations that make it possible for an employer to unilaterally change the contractual terms. Collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) are binding for members of those employers’ associations (firms)  and labour … Continue reading

Covert Video Surveillance Overturns Wrongful Dismissal Case

In a preliminary award, an Ontario arbitrator allowed covert video surveillance footage to be used as evidence in a wrongful dismissal grievance. The complainant, Mr. Donnelly, was one of three elementary school custodians dismissed for allegedly smoking marijuana, adjacent to school grounds during working hours. The wrongful dismissal case between Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and … Continue reading

The precious help of the occupational health physician in dismissal for disability procedures

As a general principle, the occupational health physician is a major interlocutor of the employer regarding the employees’ health and safety. In particular, there exists a very specific procedure under which employees’ disability must be acknowledged by the occupational health physician in order to authorize an employer to begin a dismissal procedure. However, such opinion of … Continue reading

Is it possible for employers to change the terms of employment contracts in France?

Under French law, the ability of an employer to alter the terms and conditions of employment of its employees is very restricted. It is generally necessary for the employer to obtain the consent of the employee if it wishes to implement a change in his/her terms and conditions of employment. The principle and procedure applicable … Continue reading

Innocent Until Proven Guilty in the workplace? Criminal Charges May Not Justify Termination for Cause

While courts have often held there may be just cause for termination based on certain off duty conduct, a recent case has gone the other way. Recently, in Merritt v. Tigercat Industries, 2016 ONSC 1214 (CanLII), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice reinforced the notion that an employer cannot rely on the mere existence of … Continue reading
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