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Tuesday, February 14, 2017 @ 2:12 PM

Aggravated damages for mental distress hard to prove without evidence

A case that came before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice highlights the need for appellants to bring evidence of actual mental distress when seeking aggravated damages. ... [read more]

Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 11:22 AM

CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT - Express terms - Interpretation

Appeal by the plaintiff, Hampton Securities, from partial summary judgment granted in favour of the defendant, Tassone. The plaintiff employed the defendant to trade securities using its capital. The plaintiff maintained a trading inventory account that recorded gains and losses resulting from the defendant's trades. The defendant was remunerated solely when his trades generated profits overcoming any accumulated losses. At the time of the cessation of the defendant's employment, his inventory account stood in a loss position of approximately $700,000. The plaintiff took the position the defendant was personally responsible for the losses. The plaintiff applied $100,000 of the defendant's personal reserve account against the loss and liquidated his shares in the company, retaining the proceeds. The plaintiff sued to recover the remaining net loss, challenging the defendant's transfer of the matrimonial home to his wife as a fraudulent conveyance. The defendant denied personal liability for the loss and counterclaimed for wrongful dismissal and recovery of his personal funds. A motion judge granted partial summary judgment that dismissed the plaintiff's claim on the basis the defendant was not personally responsible for the trading losses, save to the extent of the amounts in his personal reserve account. The plaintiff appealed. ... [read more]

Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 3:45 PM

Policy statement released by Ontario Human Rights Commission provides guidance on medical documentation for disability claims

The Ontario Human Rights Commission released a policy statement at the beginning of February outlining the types of medical documentation required when  a disability claim is made for accommodation. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Montreal blue collar union fined $130K for illegal strike

Not applicable ... [read more]

Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Federation seeks input on proposed code of conduct for judges returning to practice

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) is asking for feedback from law societies in regards to proposed amendments to its code of professional conduct. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

REGULATED OCCUPATIONS - Administration - Appeals - Occupations - Police officers

Application by Police Constable Toy for permission to appeal a decision by the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board. The applicant was convicted of discreditable conduct for looking at counsel's materials during a Board hearing. He was subsequently convicted of deceit based on his compelled statement and oral evidence denying he had looked at the materials. The Presiding Officer found no basis for exclusion of the applicant's statements from the disciplinary phase of the proceeding. In the penalty phase, the Presiding Officer concluded that the appropriate sanction was dismissal from the force. The applicant appealed the conviction and sanction decisions to the Board. The Board dismissed the appeals, finding that the Presiding Officer's decisions were reasonable. The applicant sought permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal on the basis the Board erred in law in its articulation, selection and application of the standard of review. ... [read more]

Monday, February 06, 2017 @ 4:03 PM

Bill 177 progressive for victims of domestic abuse, but could cause logistical issues for employers

Ontario’s Bill 177 may be progressive for employees facing domestic abuse, but it could pose logistical hurdles for business owners. ... [read more]

Friday, February 03, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

UNFAIR LABOUR PRACTICES - By employer - Bargaining in bad faith - Improper communications with employees - Interference with employee’s rights - Intimidation or coercion

Appeal by the employer Health Authorities from a decision allowing the respondent unions’ application for judicial review of a decision of the Labour Relations Board. The unions had alleged that the appellant had engaged in unfair labour practices due to the appellant’s communications campaign during labour negations involving press releases, letters, a website and posters. The unions alleged the appellant violated s. 11(a) of the Trade Union Act (Act) by interfering with and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act and s. 11(1)(b) by failing to bargain in good faith. The appellant believed that a 2008 amendment to s. 11(1)(a) of the Act had granted an expanded right for employers to communicate facts and opinions to their employees and it exercised that right in the 2008 round of bargaining. The Board held that the 2008 amendment effected what might be called a re-appreciation of the robustness of employees and of how vulnerable they were to intimidation and coercion. The Board dismissed all complaints except a complaint under s. 11(a) for misrepresenting retroactive pay issues. By way of a remedy, the Board enjoined the appellant from further violating the Act. The Board concluded that the appellant had a right to communicate both with health care workers and the public about the status of its bargaining proposals and found that, but for the misleading commentary concerning retroactive pay, the appellant’s communications had not offended the Act. The Chambers judge found several aspects of the Board’s approach to the alleged violations unreasonable and ordered the Board to reconsider its decision except for its finding of the s. 11(a) violation. The appellant argued that the judge erred in applying a more rigorous standard of review than reasonableness and by substituting his own conclusions for those of the Board. ... [read more]

Friday, February 03, 2017 @ 2:58 PM

WRONGFUL DISMISSAL - Dismissal without cause

Appeal by Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) from the award to Styles in his wrongful dismissal claim. There was no dispute that Styles was dismissed from his position with AIMCo as an investment manager in 2013 without cause. He received compensation for his dismissal without cause as per the terms of his employment contract. The dispute concerned Styles’ entitlement to bonuses under AIMCo’s Long Term Incentive Plan. The objectives of the Plan were to motivate and reward key employees. No bonuses were payable under the Plan until four years after employment commenced, as it was only at time that the bonus formula could be applied. The Plan contained a statement that only active AIMCo employees were entitled to payment under the Plan. As Styles worked for AIMCo for less than four years, and was no longer an active employee, AIMCo took the position that no compensation pursuant to the Plan was payable to Styles following his dismissal. The Court accepted that AIMCo did not dismiss Styles in order to avoid paying compensation to him according to the Plan. However, the Court found the wording of the Plan inherently contradictory, noting that it made no sense that the Plan was intended to attract top talent, while providing for AIMCo’s right to terminate employment without notice and its entitlement to deny claims to compensation under the Plan in such a circumstance. Since it was AIMCo that created the circumstance under which Style was unable to receive his Plan entitlements, the Court awarded Styles the benefits he would have received under the Plan, prorated based on the actual duration of his employment. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 02, 2017 @ 7:00 PM

Labour Law - Unfair labour practices - By employer - Bargaining in bad faith - Improper communications with employees - Interference with employee’s rights - Intimidation or coercion

Appeal by the employer Health Authorities from a decision allowing the respondent unions’ application for judicial review of a decision of the Labour Relations Board. The unions had alleged that the appellant had engaged in unfair labour practices due to the appellant’s communications campaign during labour negations involving press releases, letters, a website and posters. The unions alleged the appellant violated s. 11(a) of the Trade Union Act (Act) by interfering with and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights under the Act and s. 11(1)(b) by failing to bargain in good faith. The appellant believed that a 2008 amendment to s. 11(1)(a) of the Act had granted an expanded right for employers to communicate facts and opinions to their employees and it exercised that right in the 2008 round of bargaining. The Board held that the 2008 amendment effected what might be called a re-appreciation of the robustness of employees and of how vulnerable they were to intimidation and coercion. The Board dismissed all complaints except a complaint under s. 11(a) for misrepresenting retroactive pay issues. By way of a remedy, the Board enjoined the appellant from further violating the Act. The Board concluded that the appellant had a right to communicate both with health care workers and the public about the status of its bargaining proposals and found that, but for the misleading commentary concerning retroactive pay, the appellant’s communications had not offended the Act. The Chambers judge found several aspects of the Board’s approach to the alleged violations unreasonable and ordered the Board to reconsider its decision except for its finding of the s. 11(a) violation. The appellant argued that the judge erred in applying a more rigorous standard of review than reasonableness and by substituting his own conclusions for those of the Board. ... [read more]