24 the New 36? Court of Appeal Reaffirms Presumptive Ceiling in Reasonable Notice Case

Mahdi Hussein, B.A. (Hons.), JDAppeals, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal0 Comments

In Dawe v. The Equitable Life Insurance Company of Canada, the Ontario Court of Appeal held that, absent exceptional circumstances, the presumptive ceiling for reasonable notice is 24 months. In Dawe, the plaintiff was a Senior Vice President of an insurance company and was terminated after 37 years of employment without cause, following a minor dispute relating to the purchase and use of promotional sporting event tickets. As a result, the plaintiff sued his employer for wrongful dismissal. Both the plaintiff and his employer moved for partial summary judgment on two issues: (1) the calculation of the proper notice period, and (2) the plaintiff’s entitlement to his employer’s bonus plan, at para 4. The plaintiff was successful on the motion for partial summary judgment and the motion judge determined that 30 months was the appropriate notice period and that the plaintiff was entitled to his bonus during this period. In … Read More

Employee or Not? An Uber Problem to be Decided by Ontario Courts: Arbitration Not the Route

Yona Gal, J.D., LL.MAppeals, Arbitration, Arbitrators, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Contract Disputes, Employment0 Comments

In its first reported decision of the year, the Ontario Court of Appeal has allowed a proposed class action against Uber to proceed in Ontario court. Facts The Appellant commenced a proposed class action in January 2017. They sought, among other things, a declaration that Uber drivers are employees of Uber and governed by Ontario’s Employment Standards Act [“ESA”], as well as $400 million in damages payable to the class for alleged Uber violations of ESA provisions.  Prior to certification, Uber brought a motion to stay the proceeding, requesting the court to enforce a clause in the agreement that requires all disputes to be arbitrated in Amsterdam according to the law of the Netherlands. Ontario Superior Court of Justice The motion judge held that the arbitration clause was enforceable and stayed the action.  Applying the Supreme Court of Canada’s Seidel decision and the Ontario Court of Appeal’s TELUS ruling, the motion … Read More

A Successful Constructive Dismissal Claim in Hagholm v. Coerio Inc.

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Appeals, Appellate Advocacy, Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Summary Judgment, Wrongful Dismissal0 Comments

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employee is indirectly and effectively dismissed from the position or terms he/she had previously agreed formed the employment. Without the consent of the employee, a substantial alteration is presented that fundamentally changes the terms of the agreed upon contract. Hagholm v. Coerio Inc. represents a successful claim for constructive dismissal. The respondent had entered into her employment on the understanding that she could work from home three days a week. When this condition was changed, the respondent claimed constructive dismissal and ceased coming to work. The Motion Judge, on a motion for summary judgment, found that there was constructive dismissal because this was an essential term and the appellant arbitrarily withheld a bonus from the respondent. The Court of Appeal also confirmed that the respondent was not required to mitigate her damages for the appellant’s breach of contract in these circumstances. Also in this case, the … Read More

An Illegal By-Law in Perelli v. The Town Corporation of Richmond Hill

Janice Perri, B.A. (Summa Cum Laude)Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Employment, Summary Judgment0 Comments

Matthew Stroh represented the plaintiff in Perelli v. The Corporation of the Town of Richmond Hill, 2017 ONSC 6062, who was successful on a motion for summary judgment declaring that The Corporation of the Town of Richmond Hill (“the Town”) By-Law 135-14 is illegal. From December 1, 2010 to November 30, 2014, the plaintiff was employed as an elected municipal councillor for Ward 2 of the Town. Upon the completion of his term, the plaintiff was entitled to severance pay, but only received a deducted amount due to the Town By-Law 135-14 (“the By-Law”) that authorized said deduction. The deduction represents the amount charged in postage by the plaintiff to the Town’s corporate account in conducting a survey. Justice Sutherland of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found the By-Law to be invalid due to lack of statutory authority and void for bad faith. The By-Law was enacted without the plaintiff … Read More

Court of Appeal Considers Ontario Labour Relations Board’s Jurisdiction, Limitation Periods in Class Actions

Peter Neufeld, B. Soc. Sc., J.D.Administrative Law, Appeals, Civil Litigation, Class Action Defence, Commercial, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Jurisdictional Challenges, Tribunals, Wrongful Dismissal0 Comments

In United Food and Commercial Workers Canada, Local 175, Region 6 v. Quality Meat Packers Holdings Limited, 2018 ONCA 671 (“Quality Meat Packers”), the Ontario Court of Appeal considered (1) the Ontario Labour Relations Board’s (“OLRB”) jurisdiction to decide claims related to the wrongful dismissal of unionized employees; and (2) whether, in proposed representative proceedings under Rules 12.08 and 10.01, representation orders must be obtained during the limitation periods for the individuals’ claims.

Court Grants Interim, Interim Injunction Without Specific Evidence of Harm

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Brand Protection, Breach of Confidentiality Agreement, Breach of Confidentiality Clause, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Competition Clause, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Confidentiality Agreement, Confidentiality Clause, Contract Disputes, Employment, Injunction & Specific Performance, Non-Compete, Non-Competition Agreement, Non-Competition Clause, Non-Solicitation Agreement, Non-Solicitation Clause0 Comments

In Knowmadics v. Cinnamon, 2018 ONSC 4451 (CanLII) the plaintiff company sought an urgent interim, interim injunction regarding an app sold by the defendants pending the hearing of a motion for an interlocutory injunction. The plaintiff sold specialized computer software.  The individual defendant was employed by the plaintiff and signed an employment agreement, including a confidentiality and non-competition clause.  The defendant also had a business, the corporate co-defendant, which did subcontracting work for the plaintiff after the defendant resigned from employment with the plaintiff.  The corporate defendant signed a non-disclosure agreement with the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants were selling certain software that directly competed with the plaintiff’s software and infringed the plaintiff’s copyrights.  The plaintiffs commenced an action against the defendants. After commencing the action, the plaintiff alleged that they learned that the defendants were also selling a certain app over which the plaintiffs asserted ownership.  The … Read More

Court of Appeal Upholds Non-Solicitation Agreement

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appeals, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Employment, Non-Solicitation Agreement, Non-Solicitation Clause0 Comments

In MD Physician Services Inc. v. Wisniewski, 2018 ONCA 440 (CanLII), the individual defendants signed a non-solicitation agreement with the plaintiff company.  The agreement provided that the individual defendants “shall not solicit during the Employee’s employment with the Employer and for the period ending two (2) years after the termination of his/her employment, regardless of how that termination should occur, within the geographic area within which s/he provided services to the Employer.” “Solicit” was defined as: “to solicit, or attempt to solicit, the business of any client, or prospective client, of the Employer who was serviced or solicited by the Employee during his/her employment with the Employee.” The individual defendants left the plaintiff to work for a competitor, the defendant company.  On their first day of work for the defendant company, the individual defendants began contacting the plaintiff’s clients. The trial judge found that the individual defendants had breached the … Read More

Toronto Lawyers for Breach of Non-Compete or Non-Solicit Clauses

Bianca Thomas, B.Sc.(Hons.), J.D.Breach of Confidentiality Agreement, Breach of Confidentiality Clause, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Competition Clause, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Confidentiality Agreement, Confidentiality Clause, Contract Disputes, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Injunction & Specific Performance, Non-Compete, Non-Competition Agreement, Non-Competition Clause, Non-Solicitation Agreement, Non-Solicitation Clause0 Comments

Our lawyers can advise and represent employers or purchasers of a business regarding the enforcement of non-compete, non-solicit clauses or confidentiality agreements. An employer or purchaser of a business who wishes to enforce a restrictive covenant can pursue an interim injunction from the Court, which prohibits the employee from breaching the covenant. Various types of injunctions may be sought, including: Injunctions enforcing post-termination restrictive covenants; Injunctions preventing the use of the employer’s confidential information. An employer or purchaser of a business can also seek damages following an employee’s breach of a covenant if there is particular loss tied to the breach. An employer or purchaser of a business can also seek damages following an employee’s breach of a covenant if there is particular loss tied to the breach. Why Gilbertson Davis LLP? Our team of lawyers are leading practitioners and provide sound advice and effective representation in time sensitive matters. When … Read More

Court Grants Summary Judgment in Employment Dispute

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Summary Judgment, Wrongful Dismissal0 Comments

In Gregory Smith v. Diversity Technologies Corporation, the Plaintiff employee was terminated by the Defendant company for cause.  The Defendant stated that the Plaintiff had made a sale to a customer despite being specifically instructed not to do so, and that the order disrupted the Defendant’s production process.  The Plaintiff denied that he had been instructed not to sell to the customer. The Defendant argued that a Trial was necessary to resolve the credibility issues.  The Judge disagreed, and, following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hyrniak v. Mauldin, stated that there was sufficient documentary evidence to allow the court to carry out a fair and just adjudication of the dispute. The Judge stated that she would consider the Defendant’s case “at its highest and best”, and set aside the credibility issues.  She stated that even if the Plaintiff had disregarded the Defendant’s instructions not to sell to the customer, it was … Read More

Summary Judgment in Wrongful Dismissal Action in IT Sector

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Lawyer and ArbitratorBusiness Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Information Technology, Start-Up Disputes, Summary Judgment, Technology and Internet, Wrongful Dismissal0 Comments

The plaintiff in Wellman v. The Herjavec Group Inc., 2014 ONSC 2039, whose employment with the defendant was terminated without cause after one week short of a year, was granted summary judgment and found to be entitled to damages from the defendant for wrongful dismissal on the basis of a reasonable notice period of four months. The parties had agreed that the issue of a reasonable notice could be properly considered on a motion for summary judgment and the court agreed that such a motion is more proportionate, more expeditious less expensive means than a trial to achieve a just result (citing Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7) In considering the issue the court considered the: Bardal factors; the age of the employee (including when considering mitigation it is reasonable to assume that at the plaintiff’s age there could have family responsibilities that might make him less mobile); length of service (just one factor to be taken … Read More