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Fasken is a leading international business law and litigation firm. Tracing our roots back to the mid-1800s, our firm was founded through the merger…
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Fasken | Canada | 22 Apr 2020

Canada Summer Jobs programme temporarily changed due to COVID-19

The federal government has announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs programme in an effort to encourage youth employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government projects that the earmarked C$263 million in funding will create up to 70,000 jobs for young people. The temporary changes include increasing the wage subsidy for private and public sector employers and allowing......
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Fasken | Canada | 15 Apr 2020

Employee privacy issues during COVID-19 pandemic

Employers that are continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic must take reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of their workers. In order to do this, employers may need to ask employees some personal questions about their health status or conduct health assessments. However, privacy laws continue to apply. This article provides information about various privacy law issues......
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Fasken | Canada | 8 Apr 2020

Government further expands wage subsidy for employers

The government recently announced that employers which experience a COVID-19-caused revenue loss of at least 30% will be eligible for a subsidy of up to 75% of each employee's wages. According to the oral announcement, the subsidy will, among other things, extend to charities, non-profit organisations and large and small businesses, apply to the first C$58,700 earned per employee and be......
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Fasken | Canada | 1 Apr 2020

Workforce planning during COVID-19 pandemic: options for employers

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions and slowdowns in almost all industries. The situation is fluid and government, business and social responses have and must be dynamic. This article discusses the options available to employers outside Quebec to manage the unexpected downturns and, if necessary, reduce their labour force. All of the options may create risks, including circumstances......
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Fasken | Canada | 25 Mar 2020

COVID-19 and workplace government updates: cross-Canada review

Governments across Canada have recently made multiple announcements regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To help make things easier for employers, this article summarises the announcements from all provinces that touch on workplace issues. Common issues concerning COVID-19 include self-isolation, sickness benefits and layoffs.
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Fasken | Canada | 18 Mar 2020

To vest or not to vest: stock options and equity-based plans in wrongful dismissal claims

Stock options and restricted share unit (RSU) plans are used by employers to attract, reward and retain employees for the long term. While these tools can be useful, such plans should include unequivocal language limiting entitlements on termination of employment to avoid significant liability for employers. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently provided guidance on the enforceability of......
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Fasken | Canada | 11 Mar 2020

Pandemic planning for employers: responding to coronavirus

Employers must be prepared to deal with workplace issues arising from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as global health officials almost uniformly agree that the disease will continue to spread. This article outlines the issues with which employers should be prepared to deal as part of a pandemic or communicable illness response plan with regard to COVID-19.
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Fasken | Canada | 4 Mar 2020

Ontario Labour Relations Board rules that Foodora couriers can unionise

In its first gig economy decision, the Ontario Labour Relations Board has decided that Foodora's food delivery couriers are dependent contractors and can unionise. This is the first Ontario decision on the status of gig economy workers. However, these determinations are extremely fact specific and do not mean that all gig economy workers are dependent contractors.
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Fasken | Canada | 26 Feb 2020

Employees' right to sue for constructive dismissal

Employees should be treated with dignity and respect. Accordingly, employers risk breaching an employment contract by condoning harassment in the workplace and creating a hostile work environment, which – in turn – may give rise to a constructive dismissal claim. Employers facing a constructive dismissal claim resulting from workplace harassment should assess whether the claim falls within......
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Fasken | Canada | 19 Feb 2020

Religious freedom versus occupational health and safety

A great societal debate is taking place following the Quebec National Assembly's recent adoption of the Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, which regulates the wearing of religious symbols at the government level. In a recent case, freedom to wear religious symbols was pitted against employers' legal obligations to ensure and maintain occupational health and safety. The Quebec Court of......
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