Labour & Employment Law

All aspects of the employer-employee relationship (other than pensions and employee benefits) including questions relating to terminations, wrongful dismissal, employment standards, arbitration, collective bargaining, and human rights issues such as discrimination and the duty to accommodate

Termination of LTD benefits for Air Canada workers eligible to receive unreduced pension benefits doesn’t amount to age discrimination: court

By Julius Melnitzer | March 6, 2023 The Federal Court has ruled that the termination of long-term disability benefits for employees who become eligible to receive unreduced pension benefits doesn’t amount to age discrimination. The case arose from the terms of a collective bargaining agreement between Air Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association. The […]

Top 10 business decisions of 2022, Part I – – – and the law firm players

By Julius Melnitzer | January 18, 2023 What follows is the first part of our third annual list of the Top 10 business decisions in Canada for the just-ended year. This is a two-part series, which begins below with numbers 6-10, in ascending order. Read Part I here. 10. Nova Chemicals Corp. v. Dow Chemical […]

Court awards 24 months’ notice to Air Canada employee terminated as part of COVID layoff

George Avraam says the high-end award is consistent with COVID-related wrongful dismissal jurisprudence. By Julius Melnitzer | December 29, 2022 In a judgment that amounts to a handbook for employers and employers involved in COVID-based terminations, the Ontario Superior Court has awarded 24 months’ notice to an Air Canada employee with 23.5 years’ service laid […]

Court rules employers must include electronic tips under pensionable earnings

By Julius Melnitzer | September 21, 2022 The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that a Halifax restaurant must include a portion of the electronic gratuities intended for wait staff as “pensionable salary and wages” when calculating its liabilities under the Canada Pension Plan. The Federal Court of Appeal has ruled that a Halifax restaurant […]

Fast-changing law means employers should review their employment contracts now

Bennett Jones’ Talia Bregman says termination clauses are especially ripe for review By Julius Melnitzer | September 8, 2022 It’s time for Ontario employers to review their employment contracts comprehensively – and the sooner, the better. “If an employment contract, particularly one based on a standard form, has not been updated in the last six […]

Employee placed on unpaid leave over mask refusal not entitled to reasonable notice: Alberta court

By Julius Melnitzer | August 30, 2022 An Alberta court has ruled that a Calgary grocery store worker placed on indefinite unpaid leave — for failure to comply with a mandatory mask policy — has resigned as opposed to being constructively dismissed and isn’t entitled to reasonable notice or compensation in lieu thereof. “This decision […]

Employers can expect surge of claims linked to long-haul coronavirus, remote work injuries: lawyers

By Julius Melnitzer | June 16, 2022 As the pandemic winds down, employers can expect to see an increase in disability claims related to long-haul coronavirus infections and compensation claims resulting from injuries incurred while working remotely, says Joshua Goldberg, a Toronto-based personal injury lawyer. The most common long-haul coronavirus symptoms are fatigue, shortness of […]

BARE BONES BRIEFS: LSO accredits mindfulness meditation training for lawyers; New CEO at Arbitration Place; Calling a man “a bald c***” is sexual harassment; Bennett Jones provides scholarships for Indigenous, Black and first-generation law students; Top 5 law firm bulletins

By Julius Melnitzer | June 6, 2022 LSO ACCREDITS MINDFULNESS MEDITATION COURSE In a nod to the growing recognition of well-being’s importance to the profession, The Law Society of Ontario has accredited a mindfulness training course, Toronto Method Mindfulness, developed and led by Ari Kaplan of Kaplan Law. Kaplan, one of Canada’s leading pension law […]

Legal decisions on mandatory coronavirus vaccination policies favouring employers

By Julius Melnitzer | April 12, 2022 As arbitral decisions relating to the reasonableness of mandatory coronavirus vaccination policies emerge, employers have clearly gained the upper hand. “The overall box score shows that, for the most part, arbitrators have upheld mandatory vaccination policies as reasonable,” said George Vassos, a labour and employment partner at Littler […]

Ontario court refuses appeal over workers’ right to sue for wrongful dismissal in cases of chronic stress

By Julius Melnitzer | February 22, 2022 The Ontario Court of Appeal has refused to consider an appeal from an Ontario Divisional Court judgement that affirmed employees’ right to sue for wrongful and constructive dismissal in the civil courts in cases of chronic mental stress arising from workplace harassment. “The case makes it very difficult for […]

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