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Case Summaries

  • I am a Boss: Consequences of Inflating Your Position Title to Secure Employment03/06/2018Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Kevin Skov (the “Plaintiff”) began his employment with the defendant G & K Services Canada Inc. (the “Defendant”) on September 11, 1995. The Plaintiff was terminated on a without cause basis on June 1, 2016, meaning the Plaintiff was employed for the Defendant for over twenty-one (21) years. At the time of the Plaintiff’s termination he was employed as the Customer Development Manager. The Plaintiff was fifty-four (54) years old.
  • 2 in 1 Creates Confusion: What is considered Mitigation Income?01/30/2018Isabelle BruceIn employment law, a duty to mitigate requires a terminated employee to make reasonable efforts to limit the loss. This generalized statement is not as straightforward as possibly imagined. The following discussion of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in Brake v. PJ-M2R Restaurant Inc., 2017 ONCA 402 sheds light on when income will not be deducted from what an employee is entitled to during the reasonable notice period.
  • Payback - Cautionary Tale of What Being Terminated for Just Cause Can Cost an Employee01/29/2018Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Keith Cordeiro (“Plaintiff”) brought an action against his former employer, the defendant, Pinnacle Caterers Ltd. (“Defendant”) for wrongful dismissal. The Plaintiff was terminated from his employment as a system supervisor in April 2014 for alleged cause. The Defendant alleged that the Plaintiff had stolen cash paid by a customer of the Defendant’s on April 12, 2014.
  • Employer Ordered to Pay $200,000 for Placing Employee on Administrative Suspension11/30/2017David BushuevIn a landmark 2004 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that employers must continue to pay an employee during an administrative suspension. While this case was decided in the context of Quebec civil law, it was largely decided based on fundamental common-law contract principles and has since been adopted in the remaining common-law provinces of Canada. The decision is an important one, not only for establishing the rule that employers must pay their employees on an administrative leave, but also because it establishes the rules governing the manner in which employees can be placed on administrative leave. If not done correctly, employers may be liable for wrongful dismissal arising out of an administrative suspension.
  • Workin’ on the Night Moves; Requiring Employee to Work Night Shifts is Discriminatory, Alberta Court Says 11/27/2017David BushuevThe Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta recently upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that SMS Equipment Inc. (“SMS Equipment”) discriminated against an employee because they required her to work night-shifts. The employee was a single mother of two and requested that she be allowed to work exclusively day shifts so she can care for her children. When SMS Equipment refused, the employee’s union filed a grievance and received a favourable ruling from the arbitrator. SMS Equipment applied for judicial review, but the Court upheld the arbitrator’s decision.
  • Just Cause or Just a Headache?11/23/2017David BushuevThe Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded Alan Gordon (“Alan”) $100,000 in punitive damages due to the outrageous conduct of the defendant employer, Altus Group Limited (“Altus”), when they fired him. The trial judge’s finding rested in large part due to Altus’ unsubstantiated allegations that Alan was fired for just cause when in fact they fired him because of a legal dispute and simply wanted to avoid paying severance.
  • You Compete Me; Employee Departures Complicated by Non-Compete Clauses11/22/2017David BushuevIt is not unheard of for a business to “poach” high-ranking employees from their competitors in order to gain an edge. Hiring a competitor’s employee can provide access to useful information about distributors, clients, pricing and general business practice, which can prove key when looking to undercut the competition. In order to prevent this, many companies consider having their employees sign “non-competition agreements” which prevent them from working for a competitor following their departure. While these contracts tend to be limited in their scope and duration, they can go a long way in protecting a company’s interests, specifically in the case of high-ranking, long-term employees who leave with valuable information. What many employers fail to consider, however, is that a non-competition clause can actually end up costing them more money when they end up firing an employee.
  • Teacher Terminated for Falsifying Grades 11/21/2017David BushuevA private school teacher (“Mr. Fernandes”) was terminated for falsifying student grades, so he sued the school for wrongful dismissal, among other things. While Mr. Fernandes initially won the case at trial, the decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal found that falsifying student grades and then lying about it gave rise to a breakdown in the employment relationship and therefore warranted summary dismissal.
  • Ouch – When Workplace Injury Leads to Frustration of an Employment Agreement it is Not Discrimination 10/12/2017Isabelle BruceThe respondent, James Campbell Inc. (the “Respondent”), operated nine McDonald’s restaurants across eastern Ontario. One of these McDonald’s locations was in Lakefield, Ontario (“Lakefield McDonalds”). The applicant, Cathy Gahagan (the “Applicant”) worked at Lakefield McDonald’s for seven years, mostly at the grill station. The Applicant was skilled at her job.
  • Let’s be Honest: the Importance of Honesty in an Employment Relationship10/06/2017Isabelle BruceThe appellant, Ronald De Jesus (the “Appellant”), was employed by the respondent, Linamar Holdings Inc. (the “Respondent”) as a production supervisor. On or about October 8, 2013, the Appellant was terminated from his employment for cause after approximately 19.5 years of continuous employment. As such, the Appellant did not receive any notice or compensation in lieu of notice when he was terminated.
  • Nothing in Life is Free: Can a Student or Intern be Entitled to Wages Despite an Agreement to be Unpaid?10/04/2017Isabelle BruceThe applicant, Chamkaur Singh Sandhu (“Mr. C. Sandhu”) in his capacity as a director of the numbered company 1363047 Ontario Ltd. (the “Employer”) brought an application for review of a Director’s Order to Pay the claimant, Harpreet Brar (the “Claimant”).
  • What is a Newspaper? Online Articles Under the Libel and Slander Act08/29/2017Isabelle BruceThe appellant, Darren John (the “Appellant”) is a musician who performs under the name of Avalanche the Architect. The individual respondent, Alex Ballingall (“Ballingall”) is a reporter for the corporate respondents, Toronto Star Newspaper Ltd. and Torstar Corporation (collectively “Toronto Star”).
  • What Exactly Did We Agree To: A Reminder of the Principles of Interpretation of Commercial Transaction Agreements08/28/2017Isabelle BruceThe parties, Tuckamore Holdings LP (“Tuckamore”) and Brompton Corp. (“Brompton”) entered into a purchase agreement where Brompton purchased the Tuckamore business (the “Agreement”). The Agreement involved an exchange of securities held by Brompton to Tuckamore, which resulted in Tuckamore becoming a minority shareholder in Brompton. A term of the Agreement also included a written representation and warranty from Brompton to the benefit of Tuckamore regarding tax pools (“Tax Pool Term”).
  • Sticking it Out: Consequences and Cautions regarding Resignation08/22/2017Isabelle BruceThe applicant, Jan Persuad (the “Applicant”) brought a claim for constructive dismissal against her former employer, the respondent, Telus Corporation (the “Respondent”). The Applicant also sought damages for intentional infliction of mental suffering and inducing a breach of contract. The Applicant worked for the Respondent for seven (7) years as the Java Developer on the Product Development team.
  • Improper Investigation Leads to Job-Loss Despite Court Ruling08/02/2017David BushuevBalraj Shoan was sanctioned by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (“CRTC”) following an investigation into allegations that he was harassing a fellow colleague. In response, Mr. Shoan applied for judicial review on the grounds that the investigation was not conducted in a fair manner. The Court sided with Mr. Shoan, but by that point he had already lost his appointment as the Commissioner for the Governer in Counsel (“GIC”).
  • Buyer Beware: What are your obligations to employees when purchasing a business?08/01/2017Isabelle BruceThe implications of continuity of employment is a vital consideration when purchasing a business with employees. Under section 9 of the Employment Standards Act, (Ontario) 2000, S.O. 200, c.41 (“ESA”), the employment of an employee is deemed not to have been terminated or severed if an employer sells a business. The employment, including the length of employment of the employee will be deemed to be with the purchaser of the business. As such, the purchaser will owe the employee all the same (and/or equivalent) obligations the employee was originally entitled to with the seller.
  • Court of Appeal Strikes Down Termination Clause07/31/2017David BushuevIn a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that a termination clause was not enforceable because it failed to clearly provide for the continuation of benefits during the notice period and because it failed to clearly provide that the employer would pay severance pay alongside termination pay.
  • Watch Your Mouth: What Will Amount to Termination of an Employee Accidentally or Otherwise? 07/28/2017Isabelle BruceThe appellant, Dr. Lawrence Man-Suen Mok (hereinafter “Mok”) employed the respondent Tanya Sweeting (hereinafter “Sweeting”) as a practice assistance and office manager at Mok’s medical office (“Office”) for over twenty-two (22) years. Sweeting was a registered nurse and was fifty-two (52) years old at the time her employment relationship ceased. The circumstances of Sweeting’s dismissal were as follows.
  • The Price Of Silence: After Resigning, Do You Still Owe Your Former Employer A Duty Of Good Faith And Loyalty?05/29/2017Isabelle BruceThe Prim8 Group Inc. (“Prim8”), which offers web-based services brought an action against Richard Tisi (“Mr. Tisi”) and Ian MacArthur (“Mr. MacArthur”) (collectively the “defendants”). Mr. Tisi began working on a contractual basis for Prim8 in 2008 and later in 2010 became a one-third shareholder, director and officer of Prim8. As well, in 2010 Prim8 hired Mr. MacArthur as a senior programmer, who reported to Mr. Tisi.
  • When Can an Employee of a Corporation be Sued?05/26/2017Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Maame Gyamfuaa (hereinafter the “Plaintiff”) was a nursing student at the University of Ottawa. The Plaintiff alleged that the defendants, Barbara Leblanc, Judith Lafleur, Kelly Kidd, Dave Holmes, Gisele Carroll, Denis Prud'homme, University of Ottawa and Algonquin College (hereinafter collectively, the “Defendants”) wrongfully claimed that the Plaintiff had cheated on an exam.
  • National Bank of Canada Successfully Strikes Portion of Pleadings05/24/2017David BushuevThe Superior Court of Justice granted the motion to strike portions of the Plaintiff’s pleadings which allege intentional interference with economic relations, finding that there was no reasonable possibility of success based on the facts as pleaded.
  • Loose Lips Don’t Just Sink Ships – What Happens When You Breach a Confidentiality Clause of a Settlement Agreement?05/23/2017Isabelle BruceConfidentiality clauses are standard practice for settlement agreements, particularly with respect to employment and labour law matters. An employer is afforded some incentive to resolve a matter when they include the protection of confidentiality. The case summary below highlights the consequences of breaching a confidentiality clause of a settlement agreement.
  • We Want You: Inducement and its Consequences 05/03/2017Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Butcher (hereinafter the “Plaintiff”) worked for Somerville Merchandising Inc. (hereinafter “Somerville”) as a project manager for over six (6) years. The Plaintiff brought an action for wrongful dismissal. The Plaintiff departed from Somerville in January 2008 and was at this time making approximately $56,000.
  • Defendant Jailed After Failing to Comply with Mareva Order 05/02/2017David BushuevThe defendant was jailed for asset stripping and failing to meet discovery obligations under a Mareva Order. The Ontario Court of Appeal upheld the motion judge’s sanctions including a 90-day prison sentence and an order striking out the statement of defence and cross-claim.
  • So you’ve been terminated, do you have to accept an alternative position if offered? 05/01/2017Isabelle BruceA duty to mitigate is imposed on any employee after they have been terminated. The duty to mitigate means that after an employee is terminated, the employee must take reasonable steps to limit their losses. The limiting of losses usually includes looking or attaining other work. If an employee fails to mitigate, the court may reduce any award for damages that the employee would have otherwise been entitled to.
  • Termination Clause Withstands Court Scrutiny04/28/2017David BushuevThe Ontario Court of Appeal found that a termination clause prescribing minimum notice under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) was valid and therefore barred any claim on behalf of the former employee to common-law notice.
  • Court of Appeal Applies “Flexible Approach” to Assessment of Defamation Pleadings04/10/2017David BushuevThe Court of Appeal recently overturned a motion judge’s ruling to strike a claim for defamation for not pleading the requisite material facts. The plaintiffs, Catalyst Capital Group Inc. and Callidus Capital Corporation, commenced an action against Veritas Investment Research Corporation and West Face Capital Inc. (the “defendants”) for civil conspiracy, intentional interference with economic relations and defamation. The defendants moved to strike the pleadings against them, respectively. The motion judge granted the motion to strike with respect to the plaintiffs’ claim for conspiracy to publish defamatory statements due to the plaintiffs’ failure to plead the requisite particulars.
  • Sometimes Less is More 04/10/2017David BushuevIn a fairly recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found in favour of the defendants on summary judgement, dismissing an action by the plaintiff-employer for alleged breach of a non-competition clause.
  • Know When to Fold ‘em04/07/2017David BushuevIt’s important to know when you have a losing case. In fact, that’s what lawyers are for: to tell you when your case is worthy of litigation and when your smartest move is to try to reach a settlement. Doing so can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
  • Action Dismissed for Delay, Upheld by Court of Appeal03/23/2017David BushuevThe Court of Appeal recently upheld a motion judge’s decision to dismiss an action due to “inordinate and inexcusable delay.” Eleven years had passed between the initiation of the lawsuit and the motion to dismiss. During that time, key witnesses had died. At the hearing, the plaintiffs were unable to provide reasonable explanations for the excessive delay in proceeding with the action. The motion judge found that given the inordinate delay and the likelihood that a prejudice would result from such a delay, the action warranted dismissal.
  • GoodLife has Bad Lease03/23/2017David BushuevGoodLife Fitness Centres Inc. (“GoodLife”) entered into an asset purchase agreement with Extreme Fitness (“Extreme”) which involved taking on Extreme’s lease obligations for 635 Danforth Avenue, Toronto. The lease agreement (the “Lease Agreement”) between Extreme and 1079268 Ontario Inc. (“107”) remained silent on the use of the basement attached to the premises in question.
  • How can Breaks in Employment Service Affect your Reasonable Notice Period?03/23/2017Isabelle Bruce The appellant, Best Theratronics Ltd. (“Best”) terminated the respondent, Margus Vist (“Mr. Vist”) without cause. Prior to his termination, Mr. Vist had worked as a general manager of Best earning approximately $115,000 per annum, plus benefits. Mr. Vist was forty-nine (49) years old at the time of his termination.
  • Are Random Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Enforceable? 03/22/2017Isabelle BruceIrving Pulp & Paper Ltd. (“Irving”) operates a paper mill in New Brunswick. Between 1991 and 2006, Irving had no formal policy regarding alcohol consumption and drug use. In 2006, Irving unilaterally imposed a “Policy on Alcohol and Other Drug Use” (the “Policy”) under Irving’s management rights conveyed under their collective agreement with Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 (the “Union”).
  • Choice of Forum Clause Circumvented by Court of Appeal 03/16/2017David BushuevThe Court of Appeal hit the ground running in 2017, having already released 22 decisions as of January 16. This particular case involved an appeal of a failed motion for summary judgment brought by the plaintiff-appellants. At the motion hearing for summary judgment, Justice Edward M. Morgan of the Superior Court found that the Court had no jurisdiction over the dispute due to a “choice of forum clause” as agreed to by both parties, which required that all disputes were to be resolved in the Cayman Islands.
  • What Happens when you have Been Dismissed During the Probationary Period of your Employment Without Just Cause?03/15/2017Isabelle BruceUnder section 54 of the Employment Standards Act 2000 (“ESA”) an employee who has been employed for less than three (3) months can be terminated without statutory notice or pay in lieu of notice. It is also the period normally used by employers as “probationary” for new employees.
  • Court of Appeal Finds Put-Right Option as Forming Part of Consideration02/07/2017David BushuevThis dispute involved an Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”), wherein the defendants purchased from the plaintiffs a judgment they had obtained against a third party. A corporation owned by the defendants bought the judgment for two promissory notes and $200,000. The APA contained a “Put-Right option,” which allowed the plaintiffs to compel the defendants to purchase the shares for $3.00 a share, if notice was given within one-year following January 22, 2013.
  • Does An Employer Have To Protect Their Employees From Twitter?02/02/2017Isabelle Bruce The Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113 (the “Union”) brought a grievance against their employer, the Toronto Transit Commission (“TTC”) seeking that the TTC’s Twitter account be permanently shut down.
  • Out of Time, Out of Luck01/31/2017David BushuevThis dispute arose out of a loan agreement between Cross Bridges Inc. and Z-Teca Foods Inc. Cross Bridges lent money to Z-Teca, who was required to repay the full loan within 60 days of demand. Cross Bridges demanded repayment on October 21, 2009, Z-Teca made a series of payments. On January 10, 2011, Cross Bridges deposited a cheque from Z-Teca which did not clear due to insufficient funds.
  • Does Failing to Comply with Sick Leave Policy Give an Employer Just Cause to Dismiss an Employee? 01/24/2017Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Suchethea Sinnathamby (the “plaintiff”) was employed by The Chesterfield Shop Limited (the “defendant”) as a customer service agent for fourteen (14) years. On October 4, 2010 the defendant terminated the plaintiff from her employment. The plaintiff brought an action for wrongful dismissal, claiming that she was terminated without notice after she called in sick.
  • Court of Appeal Rejects Unconscionability Argument01/23/2017David BushuevMayaben Shah and her company applied for a small business loan with the Bank of Montreal for her and her husband’s donut shop. In order to secure the loan, Mr. Ileshkumar Shah and Mr. Amer Javed provided a joint guarantee to the Bank of Montreal. The loan application went through and the principal company was provided with a loan of $213,486.00.
  • Is Public Disclosure of Private Facts a Tort?01/19/2017Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff Jane Doe 464533 (the “plaintiff”) and the defendant N.D. (the “defendant”) were high school sweethearts. The plaintiff brought a civil action against the defendant after the defendant posted an explicit video of the plaintiff online, which he had assured the plaintiff he would keep private.
  • Should I Stay or Should I Go?01/17/2017David Bushuev“Should I stay or should I go” was quite possibly what Lauwers J.A. of the Court of Appeal was asking himself when he was tasked with deciding whether to lift a stay under Rule 60.01(5) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. Although, to be honest, he probably wasn’t, but the title does have a ring to it.
  • Can Age As An Impediment Of Re-Employment Affect What Is A Reasonable Notice Period?01/12/2017Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Stephanie Ozorio (the “plaintiff”) brought a motion on consent for a summary judgement against the defendant, the Canadian Hearing Society (the “defendant”) for wrongful dismissal. The plaintiff was dismissed without cause as a part of the defendant’s restructuring process.
  • Summary Judgment Overruled by Court of Appeal in Wrongful Dismissal Case01/11/2017David BushuevThe Court of Appeal recently overturned a summary judgment, finding that the motion judge erred by allowing the dispute to proceed by way of summary judgement due to the fact that the case presented serious evidentiary difficulties which could not be properly addressed in the context of a simplified procedure under rule 76 of the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure.
  • When will a Court award Punitive Damages, but not Aggravated Damages against an Employer?12/09/2016Isabelle BruceTom Morison (“Morison”) brought an action for wrongful dismissal against Ergo-Industrial Seating Systems Inc. (the “Employer”). The relationship between the Employer and the Employee began in August 2004.
  • Can a Hypothetical Breach of an Employment Agreement Effect the Agreement’s Enforceability? 12/08/2016Isabelle BruceComplete Innovations Inc. (“CI”) brought an appeal of the judgement that the plaintiff, Marcela Garreton (“Garreton”) was dismissed from her employment with CI without cause and awarding Garreton damages of $25, 000, representing five (5) months’ notice. Garreton had been working with CI for just over two (2) years at the time of her termination.
  • What Severance is an Employee Entitled to under a Fixed Term Employment Contract?12/07/2016Isabelle BruceThe plaintiff, Ms. Samina Ballim (hereinafter “Ms.Ballim”) brought a motion for summary judgement against the defendant, Bausch & Lomb Canada Inc. (hereinafter “Bausch & Lomb”) for breach of contract and wrongful dismissal. Ms. Ballim’s motion was based on her termination without cause.
  • Do Geographical Boundaries Limit where you can bring a Claim for Defamation? 11/25/2016Isabelle BruceMr. Mitchell Goldhar (“Mr. Goldhar”), a prominent Canadian business man and the owner of the Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club, which plays in the Israeli Premier League was the feature of an article written in November 2011 by an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.
  • Can you get a Religious Exemption from Paying Union Dues?11/22/2016Isabelle BruceUnder section 52(1)(b) of the Ontario Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O. 1995, c. 1, Sch. A, (“OLRA”) an employee may not be required to pay union dues. To attain an exemption from paying union dues, the employee must satisfy the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) that their religious conviction or belief objects to paying the dues.
  • When Notice is Insufficient11/07/2016David BushuevThe Superior Court of Justice recently revisited the issue of what constitutes “notice of termination” and found that notice must be “clear and unambiguous” in order to suffice. Although this is by no means “new law,” the issue is worth revisiting as reasonable notice is a staple of employment law.
  • Do Employees have an Obligation to Provide Employers with Adequate Notice of Resignation?10/25/2016Isabelle BruceGagnon & Associates Inc. (“GA”) owned by Pierre Gagnon (“Gagnon”) is a heating, ventilation and air conditioning business. Barry Jesso (“Jesso”) was hired in 1996 to oversee shipping, receiving and pricing. Jesso was quickly promoted to a full time salesperson in 1997. The employment relationship was governed by a verbal agreement. By 2006 sixty (60) percent of GA sales were attributable to Jesso and another GA employee. Jesso’s compensation at the time was twenty-five (25) percent commission on sales and a base salary for a totaling around $180,000 per year.
  • Intervention by the Court of Appeal to Clarify Damages related to Wrongful Dismissal and Discrimination10/24/2016Isabelle BruceThe appellant Ms. Vicky Strudwick (hereinafter “Ms. Strudwick”) was employed by the respondent, Applied Consumer & Clinical Evaluations Inc. (hereinafter “Applied Consumer”) for fifteen (15) years before she became deaf in 2010 from an uncertain cause. A campaign of abuse against Ms. Strudwick began almost immediately in an attempt to induce Ms. Strudwick to resign.
  • Arbitrator’s Decision Prevails in Court of Appeal10/24/2016David BushuevThe Court of Appeal recently decided whether or not to overturn an arbitrator’s award for $2,240,000 arising out of a commercial dispute.
  • Can Demoting an Employee after Maternity or Paternal Leave Amount to Discrimination?10/20/2016Isabelle BruceThe respondent, Ms. Lee Partridge (hereinafter “Ms. Partridge”) worked for the appellant, Botony Dental Corporation (hereinafter “Botony”) for seven (7) years. Ms. Partridge was initially employed as a hygienist, but was promoted thereafter as Botony’s office manager.
  • Discovering Discoverability10/18/2016David BushuevIn a recent personal injury case arising out of a surgery-gone-bad, the Court of Appeal was charged with deciding on the issue of discoverability. The plaintiff-patient had suffered medical complications following a breast-reduction surgery. What followed was thirteen (13) months of continued treatment by her doctor, the same doctor that had (allegedly) caused or contributed to the complications.
  • Is a Restrictive Covenant Enforceable where no Legitimate Interests Exists? 10/11/2016Isabelle BruceThe applicant, DME Medequip Inc. (hereinafter “DME”) operated in Peterborough, Ontario one of the respondent’s, MEDIchair LP (hereinafter “MEDIchair”) franchise stores which sold and leased home medical equipment.
  • GM US May Hold Duties to Franchisees of GMCL10/11/2016David BushuevIn a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal overruled a lower court’s finding that GM US could not owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing under the Arthur Wishart Act. While the decision itself is limited in its application, it leaves the issue to be developed in future cases.
  • Is It Unfair Labour Practice For A Trade Union To Expel a Member Who Has Joined Another Trade Union?09/30/2016Isabelle BruceThe following analysis focuses on two unrelated cases before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (hereinafter the “Board”), which consider whether it is an unfair labour practice to expel a member from a trade union after that member has joined another union. In other words, the following assesses how dual unionism is dealt with in under the Labour Relations Act, 1995, S.O. 1995, c.1, as amended (hereinafter the “Act”).
  • Deloitte Liable for Negligence in Auditing Practices; Decision to be Appealed to Supreme Court09/30/2016David BushuevIn a 2016 decision, Ontario’s Court of Appeal upheld a Superior Court decision finding Deloitte liable in negligence for failing to meet their duties as auditor of Livent Inc. (“Livent”). Livent was a publically listed live entertainment company involved in the production of theatrical works such as The Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Music of the Night and Sunsent Boulevard.
  • Court of Appeal Finds No Reasonable Notice in Fixed Term Employment09/27/2016David BushuevIn a recent decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal awarded a former employee restitutionary damages rather than pay in lieu of reasonable notice.
  • Lay-off Treated as Constructive Dismissal by Superior Court, Awarded Termination Pay09/26/2016David BushuevThe Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that the employer, Gracious Living Corp., wrongfully dismissed the plaintiff-employee after having temporarily laid him off for three (3) months, despite having complied with Employment Standards Act (“ESA”) requirements regarding temporary lay-offs. The decision, following a similar one made in 2011 by the Court of Appeal in Elsegood v Cambridge Spring Service, serves as an important reminder for employers to ensure that temporary lay-offs are part of the employment agreement prior to taking any such action.
  • Ontario Small Claims Court Makes Big Decision09/22/2016David BushuevAn employer ordered by the Ontario Small Claims Court to pay severance despite having provided their former employee a total of sixty-two (62) weeks working notice and ex gratia payment upon termination. The court found that although the sixty-two (62) weeks exceeded the employee’s cumulative entitlements to severance and notice under the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), severance cannot be offset against notice, requiring the employer to make an additional payment to satisfy their separate severance requirement under the ESA.
  • Can a Bonus Requiring “Active Employment” be owed during the Reasonable Notice Period after a Wrongful Dismissal?09/12/2016by Isabelle BruceTrevor Paquette (hereinafter the “appellant”) worked for TeraGo Networks Inc. (hereinafter the “respondent”) for fourteen (14) years. The appellant was dismissed without cause in November 2014. The appellant’s position with the respondent was as Director, Billing and Operations Support Services. The appellant earned a base salary and was entitled to bonuses under the respondent’s bonus program.
  • Can Reasonable Notice of Termination Exceed 24 Months for Dependent Contractors?09/12/2016by Isabelle BruceLawrence Keenan (hereinafter “Mr. Keenan”) started working for Canac Kitchens Ltd. (hereinafter “Canac”) in 1976. Until 1983, Mr. Keenan worked as a kitchen cabinet installer. Mr. Keenan then became a foreman and was responsible for supervising installations of Canac kitchens in new homes. Likewise in 1983, Marilyn Keenan (hereinafter “Mrs. Keenan”), who is the wife of Mr. Keenan, began her formal employment with Canac as a foreman.
  • Arbitration Clauses and the Competence-Competence Principle09/12/2016by David BushuevIn Ontario Medical Assn v Willis Canada, the Court of Appeal was charged with deciding whether to overturn a Superior Court’s decision to stay an action in order to give an arbitrator the chance to rule on its own jurisdiction.
  • Union Organizing Campaigns: When will the Ontario Labour Relations Board Intervene?08/29/2016The Ontario Labour Relation Board’s Decision in C.H.C.W. v. Stratford Shakespearean Festival Foundation of Canada, 2000 CarswellOnt 2637
  • Court Forces Contractor to Pay Over $100K for Failure to Account for Distribution of Trust Money08/29/2016In a recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of the plaintiff for materials and money supplied for a variety of construction projects. The facts of this case are pretty straightforward. The plaintiff brought an action for money and materials supplied to the defendants, the defendants filed a statement of defence, which was struck, and the plaintiff brought a motion for judgement. The central issues in this motion were two part: 1) whether the defendant was in violation of section 8 of the Construction Lies Act (“CLA)”); and 2) whether any such liability should survive a discharge order under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”).
  • Severance Action in British Columbia Fails on Duty to Mitigate08/29/2016The British Columbia Supreme Court recently ruled against the plaintiffs in an action for pay in lieu of reasonable notice due to the plaintiffs’ failure to establish that they met their duty to mitigate.
  • Are an Employer’s Financial Circumstances Relevant when Determining what a Wrongfully Dismissed Employee is Entitled?08/29/2016Domenica Michela, Sergio Gomes and Catherine Carnoval (hereinafter the “appellants”) are school teachers who were employed by St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School (hereinafter the “respondent”), a private school, on a series of one-year contracts. The appellants were employed by the respondent for a total of thirteen (13), eleven (11) and eight (8) years respectively.
  • Be Specific-Inferring Common Intention Rules the Day when Joint Venture Agreements remain Silent: The Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in Zachary Timoon Dentistry Professional Corp. v. Tonino Ciocca Dentistry Professional Corp., 2015 ONCA 81208/18/2016Through their professional corporations, two dentists entered into a joint venture agreement (hereinafter “JVA”) to continue their business relationship in general practice dentistry. The JVA included a provision which related to the necessary notice to effect termination, but did not include the consequences of termination, such as whether a dissolution or a buy-out would take place with respect to the parties’ interests in the general dentistry practice.
  • Summary Judgement Ruling Establishes Holding Companies are Not Common Employers08/10/2016The Superior Court of Justice ruled on the issue of common-employers and personal liability of directors in the context of a wrongful dismissal action. The plaintiff was the manager of a Nissan Infiniti automotive dealership in Ottawa, which was owned and operated by the Tony Graham automotive companies. After he was terminated, the plaintiff sued the dealership, along with the directors and the holding companies associated with the dealership. The defendants brought a motion for summary judgement to have the claims dismissed as against the directors and the holding companies on the basis that they were not employers of the plaintiff and therefore have no place in the action for wrongful dismissal.
  • Tort Law Saves the Day: Supreme Court of British Columbia Rules in Favour of Employee in Negligent Misrepresentation Action08/10/2016In a recent case, the Supreme Court of British Columbia was charged with the task of deciding a negligent misrepresentation action. Negligent misrepresentation is a cause of action in tort, which allows the receiver of false or misleading information to seek recourse through the courts for losses incurred as a result of that misrepresentation. The cause of action arises often in the context of employment, specifically where employers make inaccurate representations to prospective candidates regarding the terms of the employment contract.
  • Strict Liability Defences at Play for Banks against Fraudulent Employees: The Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in Teva Canada Limited v. Bank of Montreal, 2016 ONCA 9408/10/2016In a unanimous decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal greater clarity has emerged as to the available defences for banks under the Bills of Exchange Act, R.S.C. 1985 c. B.4 (“BEA”) with respect to employee cheque fraud.
  • Bearing the Evidentiary Burden when Advancing an Appropriate Jurisdiction Outside of Ontario Argument: The Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decision in Eco-Tec Inc. v. Lu, 2015 ONCA 818 08/10/2016In decision by Associate Chief Justice Hoy, which was unanimously endorsed, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that the correct test for place of contract related to electronically transmitted agreements is in the jurisdiction where acceptance is received. The Court also confirmed that the principle that the party advancing the argument for a more appropriate or convenient forum bears the evidentiary burden, even when that jurisdiction is not Ontario.
  • Strengthening Solicitor-Client Privilege - Supreme Court of Canada declares probative sections of the Income Tax Act unconstitutional 07/28/2016In two companion decisions handed down on June 3, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) affirmed that sections of the Income Tax Act (“ITA”), which attempted to erode the protection of solicitor-client privilege, were unconstitutional. The decisions clarified that legal professionals cannot be compelled to disclose their clients’ identities, communications or any other privileged information with respect to tax audit and/or collection powers of the Canadian Revenue Agency (“CRA”). Meaning, the objectives of tax legislation and laws cannot justify abrogating the protections of solicitor-client privilege.
  • Saliken Decision Reaffirms High Threshold for ‘Just Cause Termination’ and Strikes Out Release07/26/2016In a recent 2016 decision, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled in favour of the Plaintiff-employee, awarding him pay in lieu of reasonable notice following a termination.
  • Dismissals Without Just Cause are Unjust under the Canada Labour Code: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd [2016] S.C.J. No. 2907/20/2016After a long anticipated wait, on July 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”), delivered decision affirming that non-unionized federal employees are entitled to comparable protections to those afforded to unionized employees.
  • Limited Scope of Mitigation of Damages in Employment Context07/19/2016Limited Scope of Mitigation of Damages in Employment Context The Facts In Marques v Delmar, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice makes a few interesting decisions in respect of reasonable notice and the calculation of damages. The plaintiff in this case worked for the defendant as a Director of Housing and Distribution between August 11, 2014, and April 7, 2015, about three months short of a year. On April 7th, the defendant terminated the plaintiff without cause. In lieu of reasonable notice, the plaintiff was offered a lump sum payment totalling the equivalent of four weeks’ base salary, which amounted to $14,230.97. The questions before the court were three part: 1) generally, the extent to which the reasonable notice provided by common law should be offset by the plaintiff’s ability to secure alternative employment; 2) whether the plaintiff’s monthly car allowance should have been included in the calculation of his remuneration; and 3) whether the plaintiff’s bonus payment should have been included in the calculation of damages for wrongful dismissal.
  • Hyperlinks and Defamation: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Decision in Crookes v. Newton 07/11/2016In a 2011 decision the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), affirming the British Columbia lower courts, held that a simple hyperlink to defamatory material does not in and of itself constitute publication of that material. Thus, a hyperlink (without direct reference to the defamatory statement) would not satisfy the threshold element of publication set out in Grant v. Torstar Corp., [2009] 3 S.C.R. 640 to establish a defamatory action.
  • The Supreme Court of Canada Defines the Defence of Responsible Communication in Grant v. Torstar Corp 07/11/2016The significance of the Grant v. Torstar Corp 2009 SCC 61 (“Grant”) decision rests principally with the creation of a new defence of responsible communication on matters of public interest to a defamation cause of action.
  • Labour Board Automatically Certifies Union as a Result of Employer Interference – Provides Strong Protection to Employees in the Context of Unionization 07/06/2016In a 2014 decision, the Ontario Labour Review Board (OLRB) finds that an employer violated section 70 of the Labour Relations Act (the “Act”) by making statements that amounted to “coercion, intimidation, threats, promises or undue influence” in relation to a unionization effort, and awards a remedy of automatic certification under section 11 of the Act.
  • Disability Benefits and Wrongful Dismissal05/19/2016Employment contracts may contain provisions relating to long-term disability benefits, allowing suffering employees to maintain a certain quality of life while taking the time required to recover with the hope of keeping their employment relationship intact. Canadian employment law has evolved to balance the interests of the employer and the employee concerning accommodations appropriate for suffering employees. As such, much of the litigation in this area of the law centers on determinations of the extent of the employee’s disability as well as the employer’s actions in accommodating the employee.
  • Termination, Inducement and Bonuses03/30/2016Canadian employment law is more than just an exercise in statute and case-law precedent – there is an art to draw on the specifics of each case in order to elicit the right decision. Cases involving termination of employment can be particularly unpredictable as varying circumstances have a great impact on what the Court considers a just result.
  • Unjust Enrichment – Medication and Monopolies03/16/2016In the case of Apotex Inc. v. Eli Lily and Company, 2015 ONCA 305, Eli Lilly and Company and Eli Lilly Canada Inc. ("Lilly") had used the process available under the regulatory scheme of the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations, SOR/93-133, in order to keep Apotex’s generic counterpart to Strattera (a drug used in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) off the market. Lilly thus ensured a virtual monopoly on sales of the drug.
  • Punishing your Boss with Punitive Damages03/07/2016Losing one’s job can be devastating and seeking to punish your employer for it may seem like the right thing to do. However, a lawsuit is intended to bring about "compensatory" results – to put one in the position they would have been but for the wrong committed by way a monetary award. The only way to "punish" the employer, in a civil lawsuit, is to get the court to order the wrongdoer to pay more as punishment. This is known as "punitive damages."
  • Punishing your Boss with Punitive Damages03/07/2016Punishing your Boss with Punitive Damages Losing one’s job can be devastating and seeking to punish your employer for it may seem like the right thing to do. However, a lawsuit is intended to bring about “compensatory” results – to put one in the position they would have been but for the wrong committed by way a monetary award. The only way to “punish” the employer, in a civil lawsuit, is to get the court to order the wrongdoer to pay more as punishment. This is known as “punitive damages.”
  • Character of Employment and Calculating the Reasonable Notice Period01/26/2016In employment law, when an employee is wrongfully terminated, the court will look at a variety of factors to determine the length of the notice period an employee is entitled to. The character of employment is one of those factors. The character of employment is the unique qualities that each job has (such as whether or not the job required the employee to have some sort of special skill). Generally, Ontario courts have determined that when an employee utilizes a special skill in their employment they may deserve a greater notice period than another employee who does not despite the fact that both employees had the same or similar length of service with the employer.
  • Probationary Employees in the Unionized Context12/22/2015Collective agreements generally set out that probationary employees do not enjoy the same level of job protection that permanent employees enjoy. For example, probationary employees can be terminated without the employer having to establish a "just cause" for his or her dismissal.
  • Denial of Benefits and Discriminatory Practices12/03/2015In Canada (Attorney General) v. Hicks, 2015 FC 599 (CanLII) the Federal Court heard an appeal concerning the validity of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") decision which held that the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada ("HRSDC") discriminated against its employee on the basis of family status. The Court reasoned so because the HRSDC did not allow the employee Temporary Dual Residence Assistance ("TDRA") under the Treasury Board’s Relocation Directive ("RD") to assist him with moving expenses associated with relocating and maintaining temporary dual residences when the employee moved from Nova Scotia to Ontario because of his job with the HRSDC.
  • Workplace Safety and the Extent of a Due Diligence Defence11/23/2015Employees in Ontario have the right to work in conditions that are safe. Workplaces covered by the WSIB (and they are many) allow employees to claim benefits in the event of a work related injury. As a result of WSIB coverage, the employee would not be allowed to sue the employer for damages related to a workplace injury and the compliant employer’s risk of financial exposure would be limited to the payment of premiums only.
  • Dependant Contractor and the Employer-Employee Relationship11/10/2015Our common law governs employee and employer relationships ensuring that the principles of justice are served whilst balancing the diverse interests of all parties involved. One of the chief concerns of employment law is whether an employer-employee relationship exists in the first place.
  • Renewing a Commercial Lease Agreement11/03/2015Commercial lease agreements can be a lucrative source of income for landlords in that tenants pay monthly rent and typically sign leases for extended terms. There is also value to be gained for tenants from continuous business operations located at a particular premise which is recognizable and known by its customer-base. Thus, commercial lease agreements usually contain renewal clauses, allowing tenants to extend an already lengthy lease for another term.
  • Reasonable Notice Period and the Duty to Mitigate Damages10/29/2015It is well known that a wrongfully terminated employee deserves an adequate notice period prior to termination or pay in lieu of notice.
  • The “Entire Agreement” Clause10/19/2015Most people entering into any type of agreement, be it an employment contract, a commercial lease or a partnership agreement, usually focus on provisions relating to the parties’ monetary obligations. Few care to read the "general" clauses usually found at the end of the document.
  • Bernard v. Canada: Privacy Rights in the Unionized Workplace10/14/2015The preservation of industrial peace has been a cornerstone of Canada’s labour relations system since its inception. The union – introduced for the benefit of workers – is normally a welcome addition to most employees. However, some employees do not seek (some even resist) the union’s protection and commensurate long-term involvement. The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Bernard v. Canada (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 13 (CanLII) ("Bernard") illustrates this tension. It touches on issues of the union’s right to the personal information of members of a bargaining unit it represents, regardless if that employee was actually a member of the union.
  • Piercing The Corporate Veil10/06/2015A corporation has a separate and distinct legal identity under Canadian law. This means that the corporation can do business, own property and have title to various assets. The general rule is that a potential claimant against a corporation cannot bring an action against the corporation’s shareholders, directors and / or officers but must confine their requests for relief as against whatever capital or assets the corporation has.
  • Can My Employer Fire Me While I am on Sick Leave?09/16/2015Being sick can cause a lot of turmoil in one’s personal and professional life. For example, a person can often go on sick leave for an indeterminate period of time depending on their illness which may or may not result in big unexpected changes for their employer. So what is the employer or employee to do? Should the employer keep the job available for the employee to attend to once they return from sick leave? Can they fire the employee and hire another person to do the job?
  • Does the Duty to Accommodate Survive an Employee’s Dismissal?07/29/2015The Canadian Human Rights Commission ("CHRC") dismissed Mr. Davinder Khaper’s ("Mr. Khaper) complaint alleging that his former employer, Air Canada, had discriminated against him based on his mental disability, race and national or ethnic origin in terminating his employment. Mr. Khaper proceeded to bring an application for a judicial review of the CHRC’s decision with the Federal Court. He was not successful, so he appealed further. In Khaper v. Air Canada, 2015 FCA 99, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Mr. Khaper’s appeal.
  • Riding to the Rescue of Collective Bargaining Rights07/24/2015The Supreme Court of Canada released a significant decision on the expansion and meaning of freedom of association in the labour context pursuant to section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights Freedoms.
  • Related Companies may be held Liable for Wrongful Termination in “Common Employer” Doctrine07/02/2015The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the Superior Court of Justice and dismissed an appeal in the case of King v. 1416088 Ontario Ltd. In King, the court held that when there is a sufficient relationship among seemingly independent companies, that group of companies may be looked at as one entity or one “common employer” and therefore could be held liable for wrongful terminations.
  • What Can We Learn From Hydro One’s Firing of a Heckler?06/03/2015An employee has been fired for what seems to be an increasing trend these days, namely for bad behaviour that did not take place at work but on their own personal time
  • Federal Court Says That the Use of Meta Tags is Not an Infringement of Trademark or Copyright05/04/2015Have you ever heard of a “meta tag”? You may not have if you are not a professional website developer. A meta tag is small piece of code in a website that can enable a search engine or web browser to identify a particular site. You cannot see a meta tag simply by looking at a website online. However, sometimes the meta tag can be used by competing businesses to try to gain an advantage over the other resulting in litigation. This happened in Red Label Vacations Inc. v. 411 Travel Buys Limited, 2015 FC 19.
  • When Can a Unionized Employee Sue Their Employer?04/22/2015We have had a number of telephone calls over the years from disgruntled unionized employees who seek to take their employer to court over a variety of workplace disputes. Their main complaint is that they tried to go to their union but for one reason or another and that route was not getting them the results they were seeking. So they try to go to court.
  • Defamation on the Internet – Blog Operators Held Accountable for Defamatory Posts04/14/2015The recent case of Baglow v. Smith, 2015 ONSC 1175 (CanLII) brings to the forefront the issue of internet defamation in the context of a political blog.
  • Parental Leave, Maternity Leave and the Human Rights Code: Partridge v. Botany Dental Corporation04/08/2015The recent Superior Court decision of Partridge v. Botany Dental Corporation serves as a reminder to employers that they have obligations under the Employment Standards Act to make sure that they reinstate employees who have gone on maternity or parental leave. However, this case also sets out how courts are also broadening the scope of that obligation such that a refusal to reinstate an employee may amount to a breach of the “family status” protections of the Human Rights Code.
  • Supreme Court of Canada Creates New Duty of Honest Contractual Performance03/31/2015The Supreme Court of Canada has unleashed bold new changes to the common law that has huge implications in employment and commercial or business litigation. The case, Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71, created a new duty of honest contractual performance between parties.
  • Constructive Dismissal: Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission03/25/2015The Supreme Court of Canada released a decision which addressed when suspending an employee may be considered constructive dismissal.
  • Class Action Lawsuit Brought Against Deloitte03/19/2015A Toronto lawyer has launched a $384 million class action lawsuit against Deloitte LLP (“Deloitte”). The lawsuit alleges that lawyers who worked at the accounting firm’s document-review division were misclassified as independent contractors, depriving them of basic employee rights. Deloitte is one of the largest audit and financial consulting firms in the world.
  • Target’s Severance Deal a Step in the Right Direction03/11/2015In January 2015 it was announced that the U.S. retail giant Target will be closing all its 133 Canadian stores and laying-off 17,500 employees in the process. The company also announced it was bankrupt and seeking bankruptcy protection. Target has since created a trust fund to pay severance to its laid-off employees. The trust fund is now sitting at 90 million which should be enough to give employees at least 16 weeks of termination pay.
  • Zeilikman Law’s New Year Employment Law Newsmakers of 201401/06/2015Happy New Year from Zeilikman Law! Employment law is never stagnant – each year brings new changes and challenges to our door. So in celebration of the New Year and because we were in a reflective spirit we decided to set down the top 5 employment law news events that took place over the course of 2014.
  • Should I sign a release?12/11/2014At Zeilikman Law we are often confronted with the following situation: an employee has just been dismissed by their employer and as part of their termination they have been offered a severance package. However, the employer will only provide the severance package if the employee signs a release (the deadline is usually strict). A release is an agreement which will act to bar any future claim that an employee may have against the employer relating to their termination of employment.
  • Can an employee be fired for things they do outside of the workplace?11/07/2014It is quite rare for an employee to be fired for things they do outside of the workplace. And, generally, what employees do in their private lives, as long as it remains private, has no bearing on whether or not they can be fired by their employer. However, this does not mean getting fired for your "off hours" activities cannot happen.
  • Employee vs. Independent Contractor10/30/2014Contrary to popular belief, the presence of an agreement stipulating that a person is an independent contractor rather than an employee is not determinative of one's status in the eyes of the law. This is because the courts will look to the substance of the parties' relationship, regardless of how they choose to classify it.
  • Resumé Fraud and the Law10/15/2014When faced with the prospect of a new and exciting job, the temptation to “sell” oneself beyond one’s true worth may be irresistible. It is not uncommon to embellish one’s credentials in the course of an interview or through a resume in order to “get one’s foot in the door.” To a certain degree, most people are guilty of some form of self-aggrandizement when employment is within reach.
  • Can I be stopped from competing with a former employer or a business I recently sold?07/20/2014Canada’s economic and commercial system seeks to encourage entrepreneurial competition and innovation. However, the law is not blind to the pitfalls of unfettered commercial activity amongst market players. Thus, it is often the case that business purchase and sale agreements include limitations on a vendor’s future activities upon a sale of business. In legal parlance, such limitations are called “restrictive covenants.” Generally speaking such covenants are considered by the courts as a restraint on trade and, as such, as against public policy. However, what if upon the sale of a business, the vendor opens another business of a similar kind to the one sold? The possibility exists for the purchaser to apply to the court to enforce the covenant (if one exists) so as to stop the vendor from inflicting economic harm on the purchaser.
  • Business Oppression07/19/2014When the corporation’s control gets out of hand, when the conduct of its managers is detrimental and abusive, a corporation’s shareholders are entitled to certain remedies. One such remedy is the oppression remedy - the "super remedy" of business litigation.
  • The fiduciary role in a business context07/16/2014Generally speaking, there are three characteristics to a fiduciary relationship. First, the fiduciary has the power to make choices. He or she must be able to exercise some discretion or power over another person. Second, the fiduciary must have the power to affect a beneficiary’s interests. The fiduciary can exercise such power unilaterally so as to affect the beneficiary’s practical interests. Third, the beneficiary is vulnerable to or is at the mercy of the fiduciary. A fiduciary relationship, thus, goes beyond mere duty of care or contractual liability; it is a relationship that is premised on power imbalance and trust.
  • You do not need to have a contract to owe something to someone06/30/2014Individuals and companies often think they have obligations towards each other only pursuant to the agreements they enter into in the course of their commercial activities. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Over the centuries, the common law has established various extra-contractual duties (in legal parlance, “causes of action”), which are owed between members of society whether or not an actual agreement had been made.
  • It takes a lifetime...06/18/2014It is often said that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation and only a few seconds to destroy it. The law of defamation seeks to address the problems associated with negative communications with respect to a person’s character. Defamation is a statement that is communicated by a third party that tends to harm a person’s reputation. Defamation can occur either verbally (“slander”) or in writing (“libel”).
  • What is a "contract"?06/03/2014What is a contract? A contract is a promise made from one party to another to do something or to refrain from doing something in the future. A contract is formed when an offer is accepted and something of value is exchanged.
  • Insurer gets off the hook as a result of a deal struck between the employer and the employee06/01/2014The doctrine of “privity of contract” stands for the proposition that only parties to a contract can enforce it. What happens, however, when parties contract to release a third party from liability? Can the third party, who has never even seen the contract, rely on its terms? The Supreme Court of Canada answered this question in the affirmative in the London Drugs and Fraser Rivers decisions. In certain circumstances, the Court ruled, exceptions are allowed. This rule was revisited in an employment context where as a result of a release entered into by the employer and the employee the third party insurance company was excluded from liability.