Case Law Updates


Fairness and Transparency are Key When it Comes to Bonus Entitlements on Dismissal

By Wendy Woloshyn. What happens if an employee gets fired without cause before his or her bonus gets paid? What if the employment contract says that to receive the bonus, the employee must still be employed at the time it’s paid out? The answers might surprise you. Integral and Discretionary My colleague Richard Johnson has […]


Valle Torres: Revisiting Key Principles for Calculating Damages

By Erin Brandt. We have written previously about how severance pay will generally be calculated if an employee is dismissed from work, and the need to treat an employee fairly in the manner of dismissal. (In case you missed them, we’ve included links to these articles at the end of this post.) Another recent BC […]


Offering Referrals to Clients: A Cautionary Tale

By Richard Johnson. Those of us in the legal profession have been happy to guide clients toward other service providers as and when appropriate when an aspect of the client’s needs falls outside the scope of our practice. In a world of ever-increasing specialization, the need for referrals to those with particular areas expertise will only […]


Midwives Subject to Gender Discrimination: Association of Ontario Midwives v. Ontario

By Erin Brandt. Last month, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal issued an historic decision. The Tribunal ruled that the Ontario government has been discriminating against Ontario midwives since 2005 on the basis of sex as a result of the difference between the compensation paid to midwives and Community Health Care Clinic (CHC) physicians. What happens […]

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Safety and Accommodation: Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal

by Erin Brandt. In a workplace human rights case decided earlier this year (Stewart v. Elk Valley Coal), the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that an Alberta employer’s firing of an employee following an on-site accident and a positive drug test was not a discriminatory act. Apparently key to the SCC’s decision was the fact […]

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Saadati: Mental Health is Fundamental

By Richard Johnson. On June 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its unanimous ruling in Saadati v. Moorhead, which drastically altered the manner in which Canadian courts assess damages for mental injuries suffered by a plaintiff. Background – History of the Case The context of the case was a car accident in New […]

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Styles: Setting the Record Straight on Honesty and Good Faith

By Samantha Stepney, Lawyer. Over the past several years, the general organizing principles of “good faith” and “honesty” in contractual performance as set out in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision of Bhasin v. Hrynew have received much attention from employment lawyers. One argument that has been considered is whether certain contractual terms (most often […]

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Focus on Fairness: Garcia v. Tahoe Resources

By Erin Brandt. What happens when a Canadian company is accused of human rights violations in a foreign jurisdiction? A recent British Columbia court ruling suggests that businesses with overseas operations may soon be subject to increased scrutiny from Canadian courts. In theory, an individual alleging human rights abuses would take legal action in the […]

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The Power of a Well-Written Bonus Plan: Bois v. MD Physician Services

By Richard Johnson. A recent decision from the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice serves as a strong reminder to both employers and employees about the importance of well-drafted written employment terms. The terms at issue in Bois v. MD Physician Services Inc. related to the plaintiff’s bonus, and meant the difference between a significant incentive payment […]

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Logan v. Numbers Cabaret Ltd.: A Lighter Burden for Employers?

By Samantha Stepney, Lawyer. 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 […]

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