contract, retainer agreements, signing a retainer agreement, employment lawyers

The Different Types of Retainer Agreements

What Is a Retainer Agreement? In Ontario, if you hire a lawyer, you will most likely be asked to enter into a retainer agreement. A retainer agreement is a common way for lawyers and legal professionals to outline the essential terms of the services provided, including the parties to the agreement and their obligations. This article outlines the various types of retainer agreements and what you can expect. The content of a retainer agreement varies depending on the nature of the...

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severance pay calculator, termination pay, employment lawyer

The Dangers of Severance Pay Calculators

An online search for tools to calculate an employee’s severance pay will bring up multiple “calculators” to determine severance pay entitlements upon termination. Yet, many of these tools are misleading and provide an inaccurate estimate of an employee’s actual entitlements upon termination. What is Severance Pay? Before exploring the limits of a severance pay calculator, it is important to clarify the meaning of the term “severance pay”. “Severance pay” is sometimes used to refer to all amounts an employer must provide an...

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canada labour code, labour law, violence and harassment

Canada Labour Code Changes: Violence and Harassment In The Workplace

With all that has happened in 2020, it can be easy to forget changes introduced earlier in the year. This article outlines the earlier amendments to the Canada Labour Code (“CLC”), which came into force on January 1, 2021. This article also covers the newly introduced government policy document to assist in interpreting the CLC amendments. Regulation on Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention (Regulations) In June 2020, the Canadian government introduced new amendments to the CLC and Regulations to ensure that employers...

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vicarious liability, employment lawyer, human rights lawyer, vicariously liable, human rights violations

Vicarious Liability for Human Rights Violations in Ontario

Under Ontario’s Human Rights Code (the “Code”), organizations have the ultimate responsibility to maintain a discrimination-free environment. An employer may be found vicariously liable for discriminatory conduct within the workplace even if they were unaware of the conduct or did not condone it. What is Vicarious Liability in Ontario? Under section 46.3 of the Code, where an employee or agent engages in discriminatory behaviour in the course of their employment, the organization will be held vicariously liable for the behaviour. That...

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New COVID-19 Reporting Obligations for Toronto Employers, employment lawyers, HR lawyers, reporting obligations, COVID-19

New COVID-19 Reporting Obligations for Toronto Employers

On Monday January 4, 2021, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, issued a letter to all employers in the City of Toronto that are permitted to open under the Reopening Ontario Act., which, among other requirements, changes the reporting obligations for Toronto employers regarding COVID-19 cases within their workplace. This 4-page Letter of Instruction (“Instructions”) sets out additional measures that Toronto employers are required to take when it comes to: Notification to Toronto Public Health; Infection Prevention...

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terminating an employee, employment lawyer, termination

Should I Hire a Lawyer When Terminating an Employee in Ontario?

Terminating an employee in Ontario is not enjoyable for anyone involved. It requires planning and professionalism to handle the experience with tact. It can be an emotionally charged situation as the employee is placed in a vulnerable position. Employers should seek legal advice before terminating an employee in Ontario to ensure they are following best practices and to pre-empt any adverse reactions, including a legal action. Be Careful when Alleging Cause When Terminating an Employee in Ontario Where an employee is terminated...

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contracting COVID-19 in the workplace, health and safety, employment lawyers, human rights lawyers

Contracting COVID-19 In the Workplace

While COVID-19 vaccines appear to be on the horizon, the virus remains a reality for many businesses across Ontario. For employees, the possibility of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace continues to exist, and workplaces remain obligated to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees. Considering the nature of the virus, employees who are employed at a business that is continuing to operate during this time have a risk of contracting the virus due to being exposed to the...

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vacation pay, vacation pay during covid, employment lawyers, employment law

Vacation Entitlements During COVID-19

Most federal and provincial employees have vacation entitlements. Details are found in the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), respectively. Vacation entitlements during COVID-19 may differ from previous years in several ways. Before getting into the impact of COVID-19 on vacation entitlements, it is important to clarify some commonly used terms. Vacation Time vs. Vacation Pay Under the ESA, vacation time and vacation pay are two different concepts, but both are impacted by an employee’s years of service. Vacation time...

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legislative changes, ontario, IDEL, labour lawyers, employment lawyers

Ontario Announces Legislative Changes to IDEL

On December 17, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced that it would be taking proactive measures to protect jobs by helping businesses by introducing legislative changes to IDEL. To read the News Release, click here. Expanding the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (“IDEL”) Importantly, IDEL has been extended by six months, from its previous end date of January 2, 2021 to July 3, 2021. What this extension means is if a non-unionized employee is utilizing IDEL between January 25, 2020 and July...

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working remotely, working from home, rights and obligations in the workplace, employment lawyers, labour lawyers

Remote Work: Rights and Obligations In the Workplace

As the pandemic (hopefully) comes to a close, many workplaces are considering continuing remote working in some form. For those who already have, new challenges have surfaced surrounding remote work and the associated rights and obligations in the workplace. When shifting your workforce to go remote, it is wise to consider the rights and obligations involved in remote working. Employment Standards Legislation Continues to Apply Employment standards legislation contains rules that apply to most workers relating to termination and overtime pay,...

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