Resources

: Atlantic Employers' Counsel - Summer 2012

September 14, 2012

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Ontario Court of Appeal finds contractual termination clauses not subject to mitigation 

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently changed the rules for the application of mitigation where there is a fixed contractual termination payment in an employment contract in Bowes v Goss Power Products Ltd. The court found that a former employee's success in finding alternate employment will not lead to a reduction in their termination payments under a contract. This decision will have a significant impact on how employers draft and implement their employment contracts.

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Crown seeks $1 million fine after workplace accident results in four fatalities

The recent Ontario Court of Justice ruling in R. v. Metron Construction Corporation makes it is clear that changes made by Bill C-45 to the Criminal Code have not only made it easier to find a corporation guilty of criminal negligence, but have also significantly increased the penalties facing offenders.

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Two (or more) can play at that game! 

The interrelated contracts principle continues to gain momentum in Canadian contract law. Simply put, the courts favour an interpretive approach that looks beyond the four corners of a single contract and will often consider a series of contracts to give effect to a transaction; all of the contracts in a series of contracts must be considered in interpreting any one of them. The recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision of Downey v. Ecore International Inc., contains a strong reaffirmation that the privity of contract principle erodes when interrelated contracts are at play.

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Non-competition clauses in employment contracts

Insurance company granted injunction against former senior insurance executive, barring the executive from soliciting clients, recruiting former employees or disclosing confidential information.


An employer was recently successful enforcing a non- solicitation and non-competition clause because it was not overly broad and freely agreed to.

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Settlement agreements and the objective observer

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a decision in which email negotiations regarding the terms of a termination agreement constituted confirmation of a settlement agreement. The court said that an objective observer would find that the parties had reached a settlement agreement and that the Claimant's demand for a formal release and offer was not reasonable. This barred the employee from bringing an action for wrongful dismissal and further damages.

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Ontario Court says employers do not have duty to provide safety training on work function unrelated to job

Employers have a duty, under Occupational Health and Safety legislation, to provide information, training and supervision to workers to protect their health and safety. An Ontario Court recently held that an employer does not have a duty to train an employee on a function that falls outside his or her job description.

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Making sense of scents in the workplace

Prior to the mid 1990's, the issue of scents in the workplace was virtually non-existent. By 2000, so called "Halifax Hysteria" erupted with the introduction of local by-laws prohibiting perfume in many public places. In April 2000, The Globe and Mail published this article on the issue saying...

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