Employer’s legal obligation to manage domestic violence at work

| October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »

Domestic violence can begin in the home, but it can navigate its way to the workplace and employers have a legal obligation to manage it head on. This can be done by implementing procedures and policies that both protect the victims of domestic abuse and urgently manages employees who are accused of it.

Within Ontario in 2010, Bill 168 amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act which sought to include domestic abuse as a form of workplace violence.   The outcome of this was a positive step in the right direction.  Employment lawyer, Daniel Lublin explains that the bill created a positive obligation for employers. This obligation requires employers to conduct risk assessments and to take the appropriate steps to protect workers from domestic violence in the workplace. It also addresses the need for employers to take the appropriate measures to manage employees who are accused of domestic violence.

Read more on this topic and the full article Arresting domestic violence at work

Teacher dismissed after 40 year-old risqué films discovered

| October 22nd, 2014 | No Comments »

Recently, 73 year-old Jacqueline Laurent Auger was dismissed from her place of employment at a Montreal prestigious private school, based on 40 year-old soft porn discovered by her students. This case is appealing in that it involves a former career in risqué films, but also in the context of the impermanent nature of short-term contracts. Toronto employment lawyer, David Whitten adds that this is a perfect example of how “past lives” can impact our employment in the digital age.

Mr. Whitten further explains that short term contracts impose no obligations on employers at the conclusion of the contract.  Indeed, severance is not payable if a short term contract expires and is not renewed.  Had Ms. Auger been an employee of indefinite duration, it is unclear whether or not her past “risqué film career” would have provided legal cause to terminate her without a severance.  However, her statement that the headmaster had “said something stupid” may very well have justified summary dismissal.

For employment law advice, based on your individual needs, consult with an expert who can guide you and provide legal advice.

The ‘genius’ class action lawsuit by the Canadian Hockey League

| October 21st, 2014 | No Comments »

The lawsuit filed last week by the junior hockey players against the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) has been classified by Toronto employment lawyer, Daniel Lublin, as ‘genius’.  After all, it is the first case where junior hockey players have filed a lawsuit. The players are seeking up to $180 million in wages and other compensation from the CHL.

Mr. Lublin explains the definition of an employee as being someone who works for wages.  This particular relationship fits the category and as such, holds the responsibility of, at least paying the players the minimum wage and overtime. The junior hockey players claim in their lawsuit to have up to 65 hours of work per week.  Accordingly, an employee who works 40 or 44 hours of work each week should be paid according to the law.

For more on Daniel Lublin’s opinion, read his full article on CTV News at http://bit.ly/1vI4hZl

Employers beware of ‘Dependent’ Contractors

| October 16th, 2014 | No Comments »

When an employer decides to hire for their business, they can recruit employees, independent contractors or dependent contractors.  Distinguishing the difference can be difficult, and noting the significant advantages and disadvantages can be tricky.  With the right guidance, an employer can avoid many unpleasant surprises, like that in Khan v. All-Can Express Ltd.  Particularly, when paying close attention to drafting an employment contract that relates to the specific relationship between employer and employee, independent contractor or dependent contractor.

Employers must know that the law examines the reality of the relationship, not the words used to describe it.  Employee’s and dependent contractors have some very similar qualities.  The element that stands out most is they are both entitled to reasonable notice of termination.  Unlike independent contractors who can be terminated without, or very little, notice. Employers must ensure that they protect themselves against future dilemmas when recruiting an independent contractor.  They can certainly appreciate the benefits of independent contractors by learning more on the law that surrounds it.

The following are factors to help you beware of misclassification between employees, independent contractors and dependent contractors:

  • The reality of the relationship is key- simply calling someone an independent contractor does not make it true.
  • Employees and dependent contractors are normally entitled to reasonable notice of termination.
  •  A proper contract can eliminate the risk of a large award of pay in lieu of notice of termination for an independent contractor.

 

Employment terminations

| October 10th, 2014 | No Comments »

Employment terminations can be cruel, and finding a lawyer that suits your wallet, is intimidating.  All termination scenarios vary from employee to employee, and finding a lawyer to counsel you every step of the way is the best advice.  In the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, Toronto employment lawyer, Daniel Lublin says dismissed employees should never sign termination documents, such as a release, without at least having them first reviewed by a lawyer.

Daniel Lublin explains this further and answers some questions from readers regarding constructive dismissals.  In particular, where an employer assigns a vastly different role in a different location, what are your legal rights? Daniel Lublin explains that an employer cannot force you to take on a vastly different role in a different location. You do not have to accept the change rather; you can protest this in writing. If your employer refuses, you may have the option to sue in court for constructive dismissal.

Read Daniel Lublin’s Globe and Mail column and full article Can my company force me to take a wildly different job?

U.S. employer refuses to pay Canadian employee’s wage

| September 29th, 2014 | No Comments »

When a U.S. employer refuses to pay a Canadian employee’s wage and claims they are not within the jurisdiction to file a claim, the employee has options.  The foundation of an employer/employee relationship is that in exchange for an employee’s hard work, the employer pays a salary.  Simply because the employee works from home in Ontario for an employer in the U.S., does not mean that the employer/employee relationship functions any differently.

Daniel Lublin, Toronto employment lawyer provides reader’s with his response to the question, can a Canadian employee file a claim against a U.S. employer for wages owed?  His answer is yes.  You can commence proceedings against the employer in either Ontario or the U.S. state where the business is located. Although choosing where to pursue the claim is a matter of strategy.

Initiating the claim in Canada can be more costly for a number of reasons. Mr. Lublin explains that the best option is to hire a lawyer in the U.S. state where the business operates and explains in more detail the reasoning for this.

Read more about this topic in Daniel Lublin’s Globe and Mail column and full article My U.S. employer owes me $36,000 and refuses to pay

Your work is eliminated and you have a new role offer

| September 25th, 2014 | No Comments »

A situation can arise where your job is eliminated and the employee is offered a different role with the same wage. The problem is that this new position has the potential to cause health complications. Other factors such as age and the environment of work are not suitable for you to accept this offer. What are your legal rights in this regard?

Employment lawyer, Daniel Lublin explains that an employer has a legal duty to accommodate an employee by finding a suitable alternative or modifying the work conditions in a reasonable way.  Without the employee’s agreement, the employer cannot change the work in a negative way. When changes are made in a negative way and without your consent, it can lead to what is known as a constructive dismissal.

To read more on this principle, it can be explained further by reading Daniel Lublin’s full article Can my employer cut off my disability payments? and column in the Globe and Mail.

An employee’s legal rights to disability payments

| September 25th, 2014 | No Comments »

An injury or health complication can cause an employee to seek disability payments and/or modified work. Where disability plays a role, the insurance company is responsible to make payments to the employee.  Suddenly payments stop and the insurance company declares that you are capable of working in a different work environment. Can the insurance company do this?

In his most recent Globe and Mail article, Daniel Lublin, Toronto Employment lawyer discusses the term “disability” and how the definition evolves, usually after two years.  It is at this point that the disability insurance policy clause comes to have a different meaning which changes your legal rights to disability payments. In order to continue to receive benefits, an employee has to show that they are unable to perform any job, not just your own. Just as the employee has an obligation to prove that they are unable to work, an insurance company bears the same responsibility to prove the contrary.

Read Daniel Lublin’s Globe and Mail column and full article Can my employer cut off my disability payments?

Employment and accomodation for your injury

| September 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

work injuryNo one can decide the best timing for an injury.  When your employment and employment duties become affected by your injury, what legal recourse do you have?

Toronto Employment lawyer, Daniel Lublin states in his Globe and Mail article that employers have a legal obligation to accommodate an illness, injury or disability up until the point of undue hardship. It is wise to consult with an employment lawyer where there is a dispute as to how your injury is affecting your duties and responsibilities. If you believe you are being discriminated against at work as a result of your injury or illness, seeking legal advice is your best course of action.

Daniel Lublin’s full article My company fired me and won’t give me my pictures can be read in his Globe and Mail column.

The workplace computer and your legal rights

| September 23rd, 2014 | No Comments »

workplace computerA termination of employment can give rise to a number of factors that can cause frustration. Whether you are a long term or short term employee, you may or may not decide to save your personal files on your workplace computer.  If you save them on your workplace computer, what are your legal rights to them upon termination?

Daniel Lublin, Toronto Employment lawyer gives his response in his most recent Globe and Mail article where he says that the distinction between a picture hanging on your workplace wall and a picture stored on your workplace computer is very little. The factors used to establish if the contents in a workplace computer belong to the employer are: whether or not an employer authorizes the use of a workplace computer for personal use and/or a contract that states the photographs or documents belong to the employer.

To find out more, read Daniel Lublin’s Globe and Mail column and full article, My company fired me and won’t give me my pictures.