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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

Filing a complaint with the Ministry of Labour

QUESTION: I work as a customer service representative for a small company where I am paid $15 an hour and 7% commission on any extra services I sell to clients. For the three and a half years I have been there I have been paid every second Friday until about six weeks ago when my pay cheque showed up providing me the hourly rate but not my commission. My commission is about a third of my income. When I asked the owner he said he would get back to me but never did and another pay period went by without commission being paid.

Is it a Constructive Dismissal and How do you handle the commissions?

QUESTION: For 8 years I have been paid a combination of salary plus commission. When the last fiscal year ended, my employer told me that in the future I would not be receiving commission but only straight salary. My salary was increased. A month later, the previous year’s results came in and I realized that I had had a stellar year. While I got paid my salary and commission for the last fiscal year, I realized that if my sales continued the way they were, I would have been far better off with the combination of salary and commission, even though my salary had been increased as a result of the recent change. Have I been constructively dismissed? Is there anything I can short of suing for wrongful dismissal to get this loss of money back?


When someone is terminated from their employment without adequate notice and hires a lawyer to negotiate a better package, it is usually quite a simple thing for the employer and employee to agree what the monthly income was.  Clearly, where a salary makes up most of the remuneration, the monthly income is simply a mathematical calculation.  A judge awarding damages for lack of adequate notice will attempt to put the employee in the same position she would have been in if she had received proper notice.  That exercise becomes a little bit tricky, however, when a significant part of the employee=s pay was made up of commission.