This month marked the debut of Kent Employment Law’s Employer Forum series, an in-house resource for forward-thinking business owners and HR professionals.
With individuals from over 15 different organizations representing a wide range of industries, the session covered a variety of challenges and opportunities for today’s business owners. Heidi and Fraser offered their expertise, attendees told their stories, and Kent lawyers added their legal perspective. Combined, they created a wealth of shared information and strategies for starting the employment law relationship off on the right foot.
For those who weren’t able to attend the Forum, here are our top 3 takeaways from the morning:
- Employees vs. Independent Contractors. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor depends on his or her day-to-day role and responsibilities. Just because you call someone a “contractor” doesn’t necessarily make it so. To learn more, read our blog post on this topic here.
- Dependent Contractors. Employees and independent contractors exist at two ends of the worker spectrum. Along this spectrum is another intermediate worker category: the “dependent contract”. A dependent contractor is economically dependent on one employer, works exclusively for one employer, and may be entitled to reasonable notice upon termination of the working relationship. Read Trevor’s blog post on a recent court decision out of Ontario here to learn more.
- Constructive Dismissal. Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer’s conduct shows an intention to no longer be bound by the existing employment contract – that is, by changing its terms. When this happens, the employee has two choices: she can either accept the employer’s actions, or she can treat the actions as a rejection of the contract and sue her employer for wrongful dismissal. Since the employee has not been formally fired, the employer’s actions are referred to as “constructive” dismissal; the word “constructive” indicates that the dismissal is a legal construct or creation – that is, the law has interpreted this behavior to be a dismissal. For more on this topic, check out the blog post we wrote for employees who believe they may have been constructively dismissed.
If you missed our November Forum, you’re in luck – we will be providing these opportunities to support and learn from your peers (and our lawyers) on a regular basis. The next event in this quarterly series happens in February 2017. Stay tuned for details…