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Reasonable Notice

30th Sep 2012

FRI Corp wanted to teach marketing executive Christina Carscallen a lesson. But as FRI Corp learned, some lessons come with a very steep price. Angered by a botched trade show and a heated email exchange with her boss, FRI Corp chose to suspend Carscallen without pay. However, FRI Corp didn’t stop there. Carscallen was demoted, her flex hours withdrawn and just to rub a little salt in the wound, she was told she would have to share a cubicle with a subordinate. more

Stating “I quit” doesn’t always make it so

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Upset after a meeting with her boss, Joey Bru said she was quitting. Believing that she had done just that, Bru’s employer replaced her. But, according to a British Columbia judge, even when employees say they are leaving, they may not have actually quit. more

Salesman’s contract a lemon: Judge

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In Bradley Gallagher’s case, a little bit of clarity would have gone a long way. Making ends meet selling used cars, Gallagher never paid much attention to the calculation of his commission payments. But in 2003, Gallagher’s car dealership demanded that he sign a shady commission plan or face his immediate termination. Having refused, the dealership said he resigned. In the end, the judge said Gallagher was the one who was sold a lemon. more

Canadian employment law provides a buffet of remedies for an aggrieved employee to pick and choose from. As Mr. and Ms. Anil and Neerja Sharma learned, however, reinstatement isn’t currently offered on the menu. Anil and Neerja Sharma were fighting for their jobs and for their reputations. The couple had found their dream jobs as sales agents for Quadrus Investment Services, a subsidiary of London Life Insurance. Unfortunately for the Sharmas, their dreams came to an abrupt end when, under the cloud of a fraud investigation, they were suspended and then fired. more

Sometimes employees too easily confuse who gets to call the legal shots. Believing that their job is an entitlement, some workers try to take the law into their own hands. They are often mistaken. This is the tale of one employee who learned this lesson the hard way. more

No such thing as a “free” consultation

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People often get exactly what they pay for. This is as true in law as it is in life. Here is one story that should make employees pause when they are offered a “free” consultation with a lawyer.
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In February, my client Dave was fired. He never saw it coming. “When I got to work, my boss and HR (department) asked to meet with me. I was told that the decision had been made to terminate my employment. I was shocked,” he told me. ” I was sent home in a cab and told my personal belongings would be shipped to me. I wasn’t allowed to say goodbye to anyone.” Dave had been employed as a sales agent with a large manufacturing company for five years and had felt his career was finally turning the corner. more

Job posting was unreasonable step, court rules

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Believing that the posting of his job in the local news made it impossible for him to continue with his work, Patterson sued the company, arguing that the posting should be equated with his dismissal. Interestingly, an Ontario judge recently agreed. more

Workplace abuse may have been obvious, but rarely did it amount to a paid vacation. Employees faced with a workplace abuser used to visit their doctor for a prescription or a note authorizing a leave of absence. Except in extraordinary cases, employees were bereft of a legal remedy, as courts had little appetite for walking into the workplace and ordering bosses to be nicer to their employees. The reality for most: either leave – or lose – your job. more

It never ceases to amaze me how just a little bit of foresight can go a very long way. Employees often bemoan the fact that they have little understanding of the employment contracts they are asked to sign. Such contracts are usually inundated with legal phraseology. But entice a soon-to-be employee with prospects of job security and many people will just sign their name unaware of the consequences that may arise down the road. more