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Court Finds Employment Agreement Signed After Offer Letter Presented To Employee Unenforceable

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It is common that during the hiring process an employer will have various discussions with the applicant. The general terms of the job will be explained and, if the applicant accepts the job, a general offer letter or e-mail confirmation of a welcoming nature will be sent. Sometime later, the applicant will sign additional documents, including benefits forms and, most importantly, an employment agreement.

Many employers follow this process without a second thought. However, a recent case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice should give employers pause as the Court found that an employment agreement that was signed after an offer letter was presented to a prospective employee to be unenforceable.
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Jumping To Conclusions Proves Costly For Employer

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A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court is a reminder to employers that dismissal for just cause must be based on solid ground. Relying on vague acts of misconduct will not suffice, and policies must be properly implemented and consistently enforced. Read More...

Can An Employer Require That A Candidate Undergo Pre-Employment Drug And Alcohol Testing?

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The law of drug and alcohol testing in Canada is in a state of evolution. While the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v Irving Pulp & Paper Ltd., 2013 SCC 34, provided important guidance on the strict standard that employers must meet in order to subject employees to random testing, it raised many questions regarding how those principles would be applied to other forms of testing.

In the two years since the decision was released, the trend in the case law suggests that the Court's analysis in Irving Pulp & Paper is not limited to random testing. For example, in Re Mechanical Contractors Association Sarnia v UA Local 663, 2014 ONSC 6909, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld an arbitration award which applied Irving Pulp & Paper to conclude that the employer did not have the right to require pre-employment testing.
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An Idiotic Idea Doesn’t Deserve Branding This Good

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When Bloomberg Businessweek asked eight leading designers to brand President Trump’s preposterous “Space Force”, they can’t possibly have imagined getting anything this deliciously good.

If Milton Glaser doesn’t start selling t-shirts, he’s really leaving money on the table.

While Glaser’s logo is the hands-down best, the efforts from David Reinfurt and Other Means are also exceptional, and all eight logos are great in their own way. Be sure to read each designer’s brief explanation of their logo as well.
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Court Of Appeal Confirms Employer's Financial Circumstances Are Irrelevant In Determining Employees' Right To Common-Law Notice Of Termination

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You are a senior manager at a not-for-profit or charitable organization. You have been tasked with trimming costs given a freeze on Government funding and a lack of new fundraising. Unfortunately, that will result in a reduction of headcount.

Given your role and experience, you know that employees dismissed without cause are entitled to notice or pay in lieu of notice. You even know that, besides statutory requirements, sometimes severance packages are offered to employees in recognition of additional employee rights to "reasonable notice" at common-law. The amount of the severance packages has always reflected your organization's financial realities. Indeed, you have only previously "let go" staff due to budgetary concerns. As such, the packages have usually been lower than what you understand (from your HR friends) to be what is "market" for bigger or private sector entities where financial concerns had not factored into the equation. Your employees have usually "signed off" without too much fuss.

However, with the recent dismissals, two employees have retained counsel and have asked for additional severance that is far beyond what your severance package has offered. The "ask" seems excessive and does not reflect either the size of your organization or the current financial difficulties confronting it. Surely, counsel for the employee must recognize your organization's current state of affairs and adjust (downward) his/her demand accordingly?

Unfortunately, given a very recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal, the answer to this question is "no".
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