EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE
Welcome to the inaugural SimpsonWigle Employment Law Update. This new free service is intended to help employers keep track of the ever-changing legal framework surrounding employment law in Ontario.
We anticipate sending updates on a quarterly basis, or whenever new and urgent changes have been made in the law.
Employment Standards Act Update
- Right to Disconnect Policy
If your business employs at least 25 people in Ontario, June 2, 2022 was the deadline to implement a Right to Disconnect Policy.
The policy must include the date it was made and the date it was last revised. Beyond these basic requirements, there are no rules governing the content of the policy. Your business is free to set its own rules in this regard.
- Electronic Monitoring Policy
Pursuant to newly passed bill 88, if your business employs at least 25 people in Ontario, it must implement an Electronic Monitoring Policy by October 11, 2022.
The policy must set out in writing whether the employer electronically monitors its employees, and if so, how and in what circumstances it may electronically monitor employees and how the information gained can be used. The policy must also include the date it was made and the date it was last revised.
- Non-Competition Clauses
In October 2021, the Employment Standards Act, 2000 was amended to invalidate non-competition clauses for employees other than executive level employees, or in the case of a recently purchased business, the seller of that business.
CASE LAW UPDATE
On April 20, 2022, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision Render v Thyssenkrupp Elevator. It upheld the termination for cause of a 51 year old employee with over 30 years’ service for slapping the buttocks of a female coworker. The slap was the only instance of misconduct.
The Court sent the clear message that even a single instance of sexual misconduct in the workplace would not be tolerated.
However, the Court did find that the conduct did not allow the employer to avoid paying the employee his minimum entitlements pursuant to the Employment Standards Act. The case serves as a reminder that any business seeking to terminate an employee for “just cause” should seek legal advice before terminating the employee.
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT UPDATE
Several Ontario court decisions over the last 2+ years have invalidated termination provisions in employment agreements due poor drafting that caused them to conflict with the minimum requirements under the Employment Standards Act.
In particular, language used in “just cause” termination sections have come under fire where such language is overly broad, or where the language does not comply with the Employment Standards Act.
We recommend that employers have their employment contracts reviewed and updated so that they reflect the current state of the law.
For more information, or for advice relating to any of the issues addressed here, or for any questions relating to workplace law generally, Please contact Lindsay Buchanan-Clarke, Christopher Dilts or Brent Foreman at 905-528-8411.