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Hamilton Employment Law

Ed Canning has been practicing exclusively in the areas of employment law and human rights for 23 years in the City of Hamilton, representing both employers and employees. For 20 years, he has been writing a bi-weekly column in The Hamilton Spectator on employment law and human rights issues that are of interest to both employers and employees. In this blog, you can have access to approximately 500 articles on various subject matters ranging from Employment Standards Act issues, wrongful dismissal issues to human rights issues.

More about Ed Canning

Blog Posts

When Salary Continuance Goes Wrong.

When an employee negotiates a severance package, it usually takes either one of two forms: Either the employee gets a lump sum payment and all ties with their former employer are cut or they end up on a time limited salary continuance. A salary continuance means the employee is put on the regular payroll with normal deductions and most of their previous benefits coverage and continued pension participation.

Innocent verbal compliments lead to unwanted praise and potential harassment

Bradley owned a small real estate brokerage. Suzanne worked for him as a real estate agent. During her five years with the office, on more than one occasion she asked for advances against future commissions from Bradley and he often complied.

Charter of Rights Trumps Ontario Human Rights Code

The Ontario Human Rights Code says that everyone has a right to “equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of”, among other things, sex and marital status. It also indicates that “every person who is an employee has a right to freedom from harassment in the workplace by another employee because of” sex and marital status.

How long does an employer have to wait before permanently replacing an employee who is off on sick leave?

The question of how long an employer must wait before permanently replacing an employee who is off ill is a complex one. Spoiler alert: Bernice’s story will not provide clarity.

Never ask an employee about their retirement plans.

We have all heard that gender-biased saying that you should never ask a lady about her age. Even more importantly, never ask an employee about their retirement plans.

Skimming wait staff tips no longer permitted

Starting June 10, 2016, restaurant managers will no longer be permitted to skim wait staff’s tips into their own pockets. The “Protecting Employees’ Tips Act” comes into effect on that day.

Working from home on an honour system

Increasingly, employees work away from the office without supervision on an honour system.   Employers have neither the interest nor ability to micromanage how those employees use their time.  Employees who are caught abusing that freedom, however, can more easily be terminated without notice. 

Offer of re-employment must be made in good faith

The law has long been that in order to receive an award from a judge for pay in lieu of notice as a result of being terminated, you have to do everything you reasonably can to mitigate your damages. 

When it comes to getting fired, all employees are created equal.

When it comes to getting fired, all employees are created equal.  Whether you work for a large employer with lots of money, a small employer with only one or 2 staff, or something in the middle, the employer’s ability to pay the cost of a reasonable severance package should be irrelevant. 

A dismissed employee may not always agree with the decision of the Canada Human Rights Code.

Canada’s National Defence Act requires all soldiers to be physically fit and deployable for general operational duties.  That means that they have to be able to perform their duties in a variety of geographical locations on short notice.  Anyone suffering from more than temporary medical conditions that would keep them from being deployed is not “deployable” and is medically released from service.