Archive | Victoria’s Blog

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Constructive Dismissal: “If You Don’t Like It, Quit!”

By Victoria Merritt, lawyer. In its recent decision in Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., the Supreme Court of Canada considered the law surrounding constructive dismissal. For the background on that case, see the first blog post in this series on the employment law implications of Matthews. What is constructive dismissal? Constructive dismissal is a […]

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The SCC’s Employment Law Refresher

By Victoria Merritt, lawyer. Employment law enthusiasts in Canada had one more thing to be thankful for this weekend: the unanimous decision released by the Supreme Court of Canada (the “SCC”) on October 9, 2020, Matthews v. Ocean Nutrition Canada Ltd., 2020 SCC 26. The issue before the SCC related to the damages an employee […]

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Off-Duty Conduct: Viral Videos, Doxxing, and Employer Rights and Obligations

By Victoria Merritt. The world is online. Everyday interactions go viral and wreak havoc. Recent examples: Videos of a woman calling the police on a bird-watcher in Central Park and  “debunking” COVID-19 myths were posted online, and resulted in an immediate backlash which included identifying the involved individuals’ employers and calling for consequences. In the […]

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Severance Clauses: One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch?

By Victoria Merritt.  The enforceability of termination clauses in employment contracts has been hotly contested in recent years, particularly in Ontario. The 2020 decision from Ontario’s Court of Appeal (the ONCA) in Waksdale v. Swegon North America Inc. is the latest judicial warning to employers on this topic, as it suggests that employers must get every […]

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“Unsafe Work” and COVID-19

By Victoria Merritt. As COVID-19-related restrictions ease in British Columbia, employers and employees have begun to navigate the process of returning to work. Anxiety around safety in a non-virtual workspace, ongoing family care obligations, increasing economic pressure, and constantly evolving rules make for stormy seas to sail. A number of my colleagues have already shared […]

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Uber’s “Unconscionable” Arbitration Clause Opens Door for Class Action

By Victoria Merritt.  The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that Ontario courts, not a Dutch arbitrator, can hear a potential class action lawsuit against Uber that may determine if its drivers are “employees.” In doing so, the majority affirms the principle of unconscionability, reminding employers that an enforceable employment agreement must be fair and […]

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