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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

Hit delete not SEND!

In the age of social media, the old saying, “loose lips sink ships” should really be changed to “loose fingers can sink your boat”. There is no rhyme but its true none the less. If you are ever tempted to rant about your boss online, take ten breaths and don’t. I guarantee it will be a bad idea.

Multiple companies under one operation

One business can often be made up of several different corporations for legitimate reasons. One owns the property, one owns the assets, and another employs the employees and actually operates the business. There is nothing illegal or shameful about that. Other businesses entering into contracts with the entity are expected to do their research and know with whom they are dealing. But what about the employees? When they are shuffled from one payroll to the next, what are their rights?

Opening a side business that competes with your employer?

QUESTION: I have been working as a hairdresser in a shop for the last 10 years. I could use extra cash and I was thinking of starting to see people in my basement after hours. I would not tell any of the existing clientele at the shop about my services but would advertise on the internet and in my neighbourhood. Do I have the right to do this or could I get fired?

Company car use a benefit?

QUESTION: I worked as an outside sales representative for a company for five years. When I was terminated I was offered four months’ pay in lieu of notice. The employer calculated my hourly salary and commission but did not include any compensation for the use of the company car. Having that car saved me a lot of money and was one of the perks of the job. Should compensation have been included in the offer?

Sexism in the workplace

When Mary first got a summer job as a fisheries guardian with her Band Council owned and operated fisheries operation, she was the only female of four guardians. She described the working environment to the Canada Human Rights Tribunal as sexist and chauvinist.  

Your actions outside of the office could affect your employment status

An employee of Hydro One is reportedly out of a job. His employer took exception to the fact that he lewdly and crudely interrupted an on-air journalist who then confronted and challenged he and his friend, Tweedledummer.

Speak Up When Terms of Employment Change

In the employment context, we always talk about “warning letters” as something an employer gives to an employee to try to correct bad behaviour. It can be just as important for employees to provide their employers with a warning letter of sorts when promises are broken.

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.

Your employer isn't necessarily out to get you.

The saying goes, “Just because you think everyone’s out to get you doesn’t mean they’re not.” And sometimes the opposite is also true.