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Employment Contracts

Don’t I get to choose when to take my vacation?

By : | Category : Articles, Employment Contracts, Statutory Complaints | Comments Off on Don’t I get to choose when to take my vacation?

29th Jul 2013

My wife works at a small company in Ontario, which has less than 10 staff including the owner. She gets two weeks of vacation but she has no say as to when she may take her vacation days. There are 10 statutory holidays and the owner has mandated that the office close on the day before a long weekend and that the day the office is closed be counted as a vacation day for payroll. Is this legal? If it is not, what can my wife do to change this? more

Buying a business? Protect yourself from high severance costs

By : | Category : Articles, Constructive Dismissal, Employment Contracts, Severance Packages | Comments Off on Buying a business? Protect yourself from high severance costs

I’m about to purchase another similar business that will effectively double my business. I wish to retain all the staff at the new business and, with the exception of one employee, all have been there short periods (1 to 5 years).

There is one person with 20 years’ experience. Obviously, I would inherit the severance liability if I recognized those 20 years (but I am not buying the corporation, just the assets) but the current vendor does not want to “discount” the price of the business by the amount that I have calculated I could be liable for, should that employee not work out. In fairness to the situation, I don’t believe the employee will ever force me to terminate his employment; however, business is business. I need to protect myself. more

Work from home? The same rules apply

By : | Category : Articles, Employment Contracts, Statutory Complaints | Comments Off on Work from home? The same rules apply

Few workers get less sympathy than telecommuters. This is because they do not commute at all. However, from a legal perspective, although telecommuters or remote workers may be out of sight, they are not out of mind for employers.

They must be treated similar to any other employee, even if the nature of their “workplace” differs considerably. Often this does not occur. What are some of the legal disputes faced by Canadian employers and employees who work remotely? more

Think you’re cutting staff costs with a contractor? Think again

By : | Category : Articles, Employment Contracts, Employment Insurance Benefits | Comments Off on Think you’re cutting staff costs with a contractor? Think again

It is one of workplace law’s newest phenomena, but it is also often a charade: Employers, happy to unburden themselves from the various costs and liabilities associated with hiring and managing a work force of employees, are increasingly retaining “contractors” to perform much of the same work that their employees did before. more

Remember who calls the legal shots at work

By : | Category : Articles, Employment Contracts, Resignation | Comments Off on Remember who calls the legal shots at work

Sometimes employees too easily confuse who gets to call the legal shots in the workplace. Believing that their job is an entitlement, they try to take the law into their own hands. But what happens when an employee gets that law wrong? more

My job’s in jeopardy and I’m treated as a contractor. What can I do?

By : | Category : Articles, Employment Contracts, Statutory Complaints | Comments Off on My job’s in jeopardy and I’m treated as a contractor. What can I do?

17th Jul 2013

My employer has technically classified me as a contractor, but the contract I have is a letter of understanding as opposed to a real contract, and it was signed 12 years ago under another owner. I am sensing a lot of negative actions from my boss and I fear that I am being set up to lose my job. I have suffered mental distress from his weekly harassment. If so, what can I do? more

I have been ignoring the bullying that has happened to me for four-and-a-half years. It came to a halt when I was escorted out of the building like a common criminal. Then they terminated my five-and-a-half year employment, without cause. No one should be subjected to this kind of treatment. I have never had this happen to me before. This is a big black mark on my employment record. What would be my next steps? more

15th Jul 2013

I have been on maternity leave for about a year. Two weeks before my scheduled return to work, I was informed that, because of some restructuring within the organization, my role is changing and that I have the option to return or take a severance package.

The details of the package were e-mailed to me and the package will be equivalent to around four months of my salary (which I think is generous considering I only joined the company in May, 2011). In terms of the changes to the job should I choose to return, I will require more “technical” skills, but the rest of the requirements are pretty much the same.

Is this legal? more

I love the tales from the workplace trenches – everyday workplace disputes fuelled by misunderstandings, misapprehension of the law, ignorance or worse. Here are questions from three readers of this column, followed by the advice I would provide: more

Employment contracts are becoming the biggest loophole in workplace law – but that loophole only works for employers.

Companies, with acute knowledge of how employment contracts can operate to their advantage, are increasingly requiring staff to sign one-sided agreements that reduce their legal rights.

These employees – most without any bargaining power, or worse, without an understanding of the law – often do not realize their legal interests are being undermined.

But if the law permits employers to do it, then why would they not try to prevent expensive lawsuits, large severance packages and competition from former employees, all with the stroke of a pen? more