Ah, the true independent contractor—the rarest of all the beasts. In the jungle of employment law, it is sought after for its rich cost savings, lower head counts and workplace efficiencies. If only all businesses could have one…
Tag: "graeme mcfarlane"
Many businesses have experienced the loss of a valuable employee. Some are fortunate enough to have that employee return to the fold after venturing out into the unknown. A recent case, however, illustrates some of the risks associated with returning a departed employee. If not done properly, the company could face significantly increased exposure should that renewed relationship not work out.
A recent case from Ontario illustrates a shift in judicial thinking with respect to the creation and operation of the employment relationship. A short service employee won a judgement providing him with $500,000 in extra contractual damages in addition to eight months’ salary in lieu of notice.
Many employers have faced the frustrating situation where an employee is away from work on medical leave, but she will not cooperate in managing any potential return. The employer finds itself trapped between its duty to accommodate on one hand, and the necessity to properly manage its business on the other. This is a stressful and difficult problem to solve.
When facing the difficult decision to end an employee’s employment for cause, it is very important not to jump to conclusions. Although this may sound obvious, the case law is replete with examples where employers used the ill-advised strategy of ready, fire, then aim. Such decision-making often leads to expensive and embarrassing public decisions.
The Supreme Court of Canada has now provided some much needed guidance with respect to application of the doctrine of constructive dismissal in situations involving administrative “suspensions.” The Court has now confirmed that these are permissible as long as they are imposed in good faith and for legitimate business reasons.
Imagine it—you’re on the verge of securing a big contract. In anticipation, you hire additional staff to hit the ground running. You are certain that the contract is in the bag, and the talent market is tight. As a result, during the recruiting process you tell potential candidates that the contract has been secured. However, at the last minute, the contract falls through, and you choose not to bring on the new hires as previously planned. By doing so, you just cost the company big money.