Tag: "graeme mcfarlane"

General Duty of Honesty Only Extends So Far

In a resounding decision from the Alberta Court of Appeal, the Court rejected the lower court’s decision that had greatly expanded an employer’s obligations to its employees. The lower court had declared that employers were now subject to a common law duty of “reasonable exercise of discretionary contractual powers.” The Appeal Court found this not to be the case and leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was denied.

Safety Trumps Belief: Of Hardship and Helmets

Good employers are concerned about respecting the Human Rights of their employees, and they should be. Sometimes there can be a real tension between respecting Human Rights and the safe management of the workplace. A recent case from Quebec illustrates these challenges.

A Caveat on Contractors: Beware the Bite of the Unicorn?

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…

Don’t Dis(miss) the Devil in the Details

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.

If You Promise the Stars…Deliver

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.

The Employee Who Didn’t Come Back: Abandonment and Accountability

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.

Darwin Award for Daytime Moonlighter

So you think that those accidental phone calls are amusing and harmless, right? You may want to think again.

Ready, Fire, Aim: A Flawed Strategy

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.