Employment Contracts

STACEY REGINALD BALL

82 SCOLLARD STREET TORONTO, ON, M5R 1G2

Call:(416) 921 7997 Ext. 225     Email:srball@82scollard.com

STACEY REGINALD BALL

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Many are not aware that the employment relationship between an employer and employee is a type of contract

TERMINATION PROVISIONS

Reasonable Notice

Employment contracts in Canada and Ontario are often much more complicated than most contracts, since special employment law imposed rules are grafted upon them. See Slater v. Sandwell(1994), 5 C.C.E.L. (2d) 308 (Ont. Ct. (Gen.Div.) and Machinger v. HOJ(1992), 91 D.L.R. (4th) 491 (S.C.C.). An employment contract exists between an employee and employer, even if it has never been placed into writing. Employment contracts are important because they let the parties determine specific terms and conditions that will govern the employment relationship. Due to the special nature of employment contracts, not all terms of the contract are enforceable by operation of law. Often employment agreements contain clauses that are not binding on the employee or the employer. Examples include improperly drafted termination provisions and other unfair or “unconscionable” terms.

​Reasonable notice is a very important concept in employment law. As explained in the article titled “Wrongful Dismissal and Just Cause”, an employer can terminate a non-unionized employee for almost any reason that is not discriminatory or reprisal against the employee. However, an employee who is terminated for “just cause”, meaning they are guilty of wilful misconduct, disobedience or neglect, is not entitled to notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice under the Employment Standards Act. If an employee is terminated without cause, the employer must provide the employee with the appropriate notice of termination, or pay in lieu of notice of termination. At the very least, the employee is entitled to the minimums contained in the Employment Standards Act. However, the employee can seek common law reasonable notice, which usually works out to a higher amount.

​Employment Standards Act

In an effort to limit paying more termination pay, employment contracts often include a termination provision, which will limit the amount of termination or severance pay that the employee is able to receive. If done properly, the termination provision can displace the presumption of common law reasonable notice that an employee would otherwise receive. However, a termination provision must be unequivocal, explicit and found to be a valid term of the employment agreement for this to occur. Technical violations of employment standards legislation like the Employment Standards Act can render harsh termination provisions void. The result of this can be very dramatic. Contracts which purport to limit statutory severance to a few weeks can be declared illegal, with common law reasonable notice of several months being substituted by the court.


Recent cases in this regard include decisions such as: Miller v A.B.M. Canada Inc. 2014 ONSC 4062; Wright v. Young & Rubicam Group of Companies, 2011 ONSC 4720 and Stevens v Sifton Properties Ltd., 2012 ONSC 5508. In order to be valid, termination provisions must acknowledge the minimum notice periods that are set out in the Employment Standards Act, among other requirements. General contract law principles such as unconscionability, undue influence and duress also apply to employment contracts and termination provisions. Please note that the above information does not constitute legal advice. It is general information about the law. If you require legal advice and assistance in an employment matter, please contact the experts at Ball Professional Corporation.

TERMINATION PAY

CONSULTATIONS

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Canadian Employment Law

Mr. Ball is author of the authoritative and definitive text Canadian Employment Law - published by Canada Law Book (a division of Thomson Reuters). The text is used and cited by lawyers, law schools and judges across Canada.

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CLIENT REVIEWS

Google Reviews

Steven Wang
Steven Wang
19:58 18 Mar 19
Stacey was the third lawyer that I had hired to represent me, after the previous two didn't achieve anything for me. Stacey is very different. He is not only the author of Canadian Employment Law with profound knowledge and experience, he is also the most efficient one, direct to the point. He is the toughest one, well known by HR people, and he takes care of his client all by himself. There is no junior lawyers under him. That's the big difference comparing with other big employment law firms on Google, where I could only meet with a young lawyer with little experience. After he spoke with me for 45 minutes, he found the best way to break through. He didn't need to ask for a lot of document and he didn't bill hours to review them. His fee structure is aligned with his client's best interest. My problem was solved very quickly with a great result, and I only have to meet with him twice and exchange some emails. He's not just a tough fighter and negotiator, he got great strategy to make a deal. He answered my emails during the holidays. He comes in the office very early, and we had a conference call at 7am in the morning when we need to make a quick decision. To me, he is the best employment lawyer, a patient teacher and a friend. I strongly recommend him to those who need help.
Aiden Nix
Aiden Nix
01:13 06 Apr 19
Stacey was super helpful and increased my settlement a significant amount. He is very busy so you have to chase him down a bit but that is minor issue compared to all of the positives. Overall if you need a good labour lawyer then talk to him right away. He is THE lawyer to go to in Ontario!Thanks Stacey!
Sergei R
Sergei R
05:01 06 Dec 18
My experience with Stacey R. Ball was very positive. His fees are reasonable and value I received for the money was outstanding. Luckily, after his advice my situation was resolved almost amicably. You will not believe how reasonable some people can become after they start suspecting you have a good lawyer. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you suspect you might need a lawyer in the future because of some developing situation at work, I highly recommend you wait no more and talk to Stacey.
Danny T
Danny T
18:34 26 Feb 19
Stacey has recently represented me. He’s patient, but to the point which I can appreciate. No fluff. He worked quickly and even responded during his holidays. Definitely highly recommended.
Alexa Arsenault
Alexa Arsenault
19:36 01 Nov 18
If I could give Stacey Ball 30 stars I would! Stacey was right on the “ball” when it came to my legal matter. I called his office and his efficient staff scheduled me for an appointment the next day. He’s a great listener and comes to the point quickly, confidently, and succinctly. He explained best and worst case scenarios and dealt with my matter without delay. He was successful in concluding my legal matter to my satisfaction and met all my expectations. I highly recommend Stacey for all your legal matters.Alexa
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