Archive | Samantha’s Blog

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Paradise Lost – Firing an Employee on Vacation

By Samantha Stepney. Are you considering firing an employee who is on vacation in order to avoid a scene at the office? We recommend that you reconsider this strategy for both legal and other reasons. Aggravated Damages All employers owe their employees a duty of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of termination. […]

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Why Cash Isn’t King: Lessons for Small Businesses

By Samantha Stepney. It can be difficult for employers in certain industries to attract talent at a reasonable wage. Because of this, as an enticement, employers often agree to pay all, or part, of employee wages in cash “under the table” so that employees do not have to pay Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, Employment […]

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Training Costs: Business Risks and Benefits

By Samantha Stepney. Some jobs require specialized training.  Where an employer requires this training as a condition of employment but offers to pay the associated costs (sometimes thousands of dollars), both parties benefit: the employer is assured of hiring a qualified candidate and the employee gains new employment as well as a free skills upgrade. […]

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Honesty: The Best Policy…but Not Necessary When Enforcing a Contract

How far do the contractual duties of honesty and good faith extend when it comes to the employment relationship? Can Canadian courts disregard the wording of a contract in the name of “fairness”? Samantha Stepney considers these timely questions, and others, in her latest case law update. Read Samantha’s review of the recent Alberta Court […]

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A Dismissed Employee’s Right to Notice or Severance: A Review of The Basics

By Samantha Stepney. Many employees who seek our advice following termination are surprised to learn that so long as their employer has not violated any human rights laws, the employee can be fired for any reason. If the reason amounts to “just cause” – which includes things like theft and insubordination – the employee is […]

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An Employer’s Legal Burden of Proof Lessened: A Common Sense Approach

When faced with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit from a former employee, one strategy employers use to reduce severance liability is to argue that the worker failed to mitigate her losses (i.e. by getting a new job). Traditionally, however, Canadian employment law has placed a heavy burden on an employer wanting to prove a failure to […]

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Pets: A Workplace’s Best Friend?

By Samantha Stepney (proud and loving owner of Muffin and Bear). Numerous reports online describe the benefits to employees of dogs in the workplace, including reduced stress and loneliness, improved morale, and increased job satisfaction. And it’s not just employees who have something to gain from bringing their dogs to work. Research shows that, in addition […]

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