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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

How to get fired before you even start a job

A Human Rights Tribunal adjudicator found an employer was committed to finding a way for a prospective employee to join the organization until his correspondence became inappropriate, writes Ed Canning.

Can I require my employees to wear masks?

As things open up I am expecting to be able to bring employees back to work as soon as the government allows. We have a production work environment in which it is impossible to always remain 6 feet distant. Can I require employees to wear masks at work?

Government changes to Employment Standards Act make sense.

I have been laid off for 10 weeks without benefits continuation. My understanding was that in 3 more weeks if I was not called back I would be deemed terminated and entitled to termination pay and severance pay under the Employment Standards Act. How will the Ontario Government’s changes to the Act affect that?

Race discrimination

Race discrimination can be a challenge to prove.

"Employers face challenges in enticing employees back to work

This article originally appeared in the Hamilton Spectator.

Service industry business affected by COVID-19

I own a small business which is in the personal service industry. Unfortunately we are already being impacted by the pandemic. It is clear that things are going to get worse before they get better. I have some very long term employees who have never been before laid off. If I lay them off as a result of a shortage of work, are they going to be able to claim that I constructively dismissed them?

Doctor's Note requirements

Question: I have been off work on disability for 8 months.  Once a month my doctor fills out a form for the disability insurer.  I contacted the employer last week to discuss the fact that my doctor will probably allow me to return to work in the new year and they seemed to be taken off guard.  They said they would have to talk to the disability insurer to find out what was going on and told me I would have to get a doctor’s report.  When I talked about some accommodations my doctor was recommending they wouldn’t discuss it at all.  What is going on?

Vacation allocation

Question: Every Spring I take my vacation time to go visit my daughter in England.  Happily this year she will have a new baby a few weeks before my usual trip. I usually go for 3 weeks but my employer will only approve one this year.  For staffing reasons, they say that they just can’t afford to be shorthanded at that time.  I am going to see my first grandchild this spring.  What are my options?

Seniority, it's hard to take it with you.

Wrongful Dismissal lawsuits are rarely about whether the employer had a good reason to terminate an employee.  Unless an employer is claiming that the employee did something so awful they deserve no notice or payment, the reasons for the termination are not the issue.  


Properly investigate or don’t terminate

Bruce had lived at a men’s shelter of last resort for a number of years. He was 75 years old and had been a boxer in his youth. Whether it was as a result of his past career or dementia, Bruce was easily confused and agitated.