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In-House Counsel


Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Seizing the opportunity to change legal workplace | Charlene Theodore

To say that 2020 has been a difficult year would be an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives dramatically, both at home and at work, while the protests and uprisings we witnessed this summer have laid bare the failure of our system to properly tackle racial inequality, including in the justice sector. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 12:57 PM

Politicization of senior appointments alarms Tribunal Watch Ontario | Gary Yee and Raj Anand

Tribunal Watch Ontario is alarmed by the recent series of Ontario cabinet appointments to senior leadership positions at Tribunals Ontario, the newly created cluster of 14 justice tribunals. Conservative party connections appear stronger than qualifications in some cases. Tribunal Watch Ontario (a public interest organization with a mission to promote tribunal independence and access to justice) calls for an independent review of the appointments and reappointments processes for Ontario tribunals. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 10:54 AM

The cruel and the unusual: Supreme Court on corporate suffering legal_interpretation_sm

It’s official. Corporations cannot experience pain. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in Quebec (Attorney General) v. 9147-0732 Quebec Inc. 2020 SCC 32, that the prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment” in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect corporations because the term “cruel” applies only to human pain and suffering. Accordingly, the $30,843 corporate fine in question was deemed constitutional. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 9:54 AM

Politicizing workplace investigations businesspeoplearguing

Workplace investigations have always been important — but since the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movement, more employees are demanding their employer investigate a wide array of allegations. This includes sexual harassment claims, bullying and harassment, allegations of racism, among other human rights violations. Workplace investigations are beneficial right off the bat — not only must justice be done, but it must be seen to be done. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 8:35 AM

Nurses risk losing their right to practise over COVID efforts | Joël Roy

Clearly, nurses and other medical professionals are the unsung heroes of this COVID-19 pandemic. For days on end, these warriors are out there on the front lines to make sure people who fell ill are taken care of — all while having to deal with the almost daily adversity brought by protocol changes and material scarcity, among others. All that being said, to say these professionals are “essential” to our answer to this crisis just might be an understatement, and it is our collective responsibility to make sure we respect and thank them appropriately for their amazing work. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 1:23 PM

Lawyers care about long-term care gloved_hands_sm

There has never been a time where a light has shone so brightly on long-term care homes (LTC), and it is not a pretty picture. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the system’s struggle to meet the most essential needs of residents. At a time where the situation is going from desperate to dire, the Ontario Bar Association’s Elder Law Section has established a COVID-19 Working Group (Working Group) to closely examine the important legal issues facing vulnerable older Ontarians through the pandemic. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

Million-dollar question: Bonus entitlements during reasonable notice period businessmenacrossdesk.jpg

SJO Legal PC was involved in the case of Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. [2020] S.C.J. No. 26, in which the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a significant judgment in October. The highest court in the country took the opportunity to clarify fundamental legal principles underlying an employer’s duty to act in good faith and the obligation to provide employees with reasonable notice of dismissal. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 @ 2:16 PM

SCC decision roadmap to damages in tort for pure economic loss: Part two economic_loss_sm

As we discussed in the first article in this series, while both the majority and dissenting opinions in 1688782 Ontario Inc. v. Maple Leaf Foods Inc. 2020 SCC 35 agreed that the Mr. Sub franchisors’ claim did not fall within the ambit of an established duty of care, the court was split over whether the franchisees stood in a sufficiently proximate relationship to Maple Leaf such that a novel duty of care and responsibility for the franchisees’ pure economic interests should be found to rest with Maple Leaf. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 2:28 PM

Employers beware: Constructive dismissal, crystallization of benefits Dividingsectionsofacircle

In Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd. 2020 SCC 26, a unanimous Supreme Court of Canada held that an employee, a victim of a brutal constructive dismissal without any notice, was entitled to the extensive remedies sought. Based on the fact that the employment contract is deemed to continue in all of its effects beyond the time of dismissal, during the reasonable notice period, except for certain exceptions, the employee may claim all of the benefits accruing during this period. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 @ 1:31 PM

The FinCEN files: Rethinking our banking compliance system canadian_cash_briefcase_sm

Last September, an investigation by BuzzFeed and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) exposed significant flaws in corporate compliance. Reporters obtained thousands of government documents, including over 2,100 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed by major international banks such as HSBC, Deutsche Bank, American Express, JPMorgan Chase, with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the American financial intelligence unit. ... [read more]