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Non-Competition Agreements

15th Jul 2013

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

25th Nov 2012

This is as true at work as it is in life, except that in workplace law there is always an exception. Here is a sampling of some of the questions readers of this column frequently ask and the answers that I often provide. Should I respond to a poor performance appraisal? I am told that non-competes will never be enforced? Can I be fired while I am on sick leave? I should have received a promotion. I signed an independent contractor agreement but I am truly an employee. more

This is the tale of two recent appeal cases, which together confirm my “Kitchen Sink” theory on employment contracts. That is, employers often bargain for excessive protection, no matter how junior or administrative the employee. However, in seeking such protection, they sometimes get none at all. more

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I received in 2010 – and the advice I provide for employees in 2011. more

Some of Employers’ Favourite Tricks

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18th Nov 2012

Money is the cause of most workplace disputes. Employees and employers each feel that they deserve more of it and each will invariably go to great lengths to keep it in their own pockets, leaving less for the other. The following are some of the most common money-saving “schemes” that employers try to pull on employees, followed by next week’s column on employees’ favourite tricks. more

Anything goes in employment contracts – Beware of dangerous terms

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10th Nov 2012

When it comes to employment contracts, all is fair in love and war, as pretty much anything can be incorporated into the agreement. Employees should, therefore, beware of the certain terms. more

Do contracts really matter or are they irrelevant? In the often confusing world of workplace law, why are some agreements upheld, when many others are simply overlooked? The answer depends on the purpose that the contract is meant to serve. more

Can my employer force me to sign a non-compete clause?

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7th Oct 2012

Could you comment on Canadian case law about non-compete and non-solicitation clauses? My new employer is insisting that I sign one, and the battle to get it removed is proving unhealthy for my relations with the employer even before I start. more

30th Sep 2012

Many disputes are rooted in, and later resolved on the basis of, policy.  Or at least they should be.  This applies in law as much as it does in life: our courts do not always decide employment cases based on what is reasonable or just, but rather, on what makes for the best workplace policy. more

Poor performance may be cause for dismissal. more