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Dusting Off the Original Employment Agreement – What Happens When an Employee’s Role Changes?

Claims of constructive dismissal are typically triggered by adverse changes to an employee’s position such as the loss of managerial responsibilities, significant wage cuts and demotions.  However, it is also the case that positive, mutually rewarding and welcome changes to an employee’s roles and responsibilities can have an impact on the underlying employment agreement. The […]

Supreme Court Declines to Further Expand the Duty of Good Faith in Employment Context

Back in February, 2019, we blogged about the long-anticipated decision in the case of Matthews v Ocean Nutrition. This morning, Mr. Matthews prevailed and is now a millionaire due to a simple and cautious decision penned by Mr. Justice Kasirer. The Facts Mr. Matthews worked for Ocean Nutrition (the “Company”) for 14 years as a […]

“Extra Breathing Room”: Dangers And Benefits Of Extending The Probation Period

Many employers require employees to agree to a probationary period (usually 3 months, but sometimes longer) during which the employer can dismiss the employee for any lawful reason whatsoever without notice or pay in lieu. The purpose of the probationary period is to allow the employer an opportunity to assess the new employee and determine […]

Matthews v Ocean Nutrition

Can an employer rely on exclusion clauses to escape liability after deliberately mistreating and constructively dismissing an employee? Four (4) years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in Bhasin, which recognized an “organizing principle of good faith” in contractual relationships: where a defendant is dishonest in the performance of a contract, it […]

Suspending an Employee Indefinitely Without Pay May Amount to Constructive Dismissal

The Supreme Court of Canada released its decision today in Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission overturning both the Trial Court and Court of Appeal decisions that David Potter had voluntarily resigned from his position. The fact that two lower courts concluded that Mr. Potter had resigned while the Supreme Court of Canada […]

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