Employment law for labor disputes is changing in Toronto

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Given new changes in common law regulating workplace disputes, people need an employment lawyer for advice and guidance in order to maintain good labor relations and avoid unnecessary costs.

Employment laws exist in Canada to protect the rights of employees and employers. Sometimes disputes arise about changes to employment contracts, employee rights, workers’ compensation, remuneration or unfair dismissal. In such cases, an employment lawyer is needed to settle the dispute. Also, the law changes often and all employers have to make sure that they comply. This is why employment lawyers such as Dutton Employment Law, a division of Monkhouse Law based in Toronto, Ontario, are key to good labor relations.

Dutton Employment Law operates all over Ontario and covers many industries particularly banking, construction, technology, media and government. The firm has experience in policy planning, strategy development, trial advocacy, providing advice, and alternative dispute resolution. They are recognized in the legal community and they have been recognized in publications, as respected lawyers in employment law.

Services for employers

Dutton Employment Law provides employment law services to small, medium, large and international business whether they are new, growing or developed. Services include providing advice on contracts, human rights, termination, disputes, executive compensation, discrimination, workplace policies, workplace investigations and many other areas detailed here on the company website. The services cover everything from hiring, relations during employment and termination of employment. Their focus at present is on employment law for managers, professionals and executives.

Many international companies that run businesses in Canada find that the employment laws are different in Canada. For them to comply with Canadian law, they also consult law firms like Dutton Employment Law for assistance.

Generally, many businesses need the services of employment lawyers as they are using contracts that limit employees’ common law rights. Laws are changing to make sure this does not happen and employment lawyers are required to help organizations to comply.

The common law: reasonable notice

In Ontario, there are legislated notice periods for individual termination and mass termination (termination of at least 50 employees within a period of 4 weeks) without cause. These are minimum standards and the terms of the employment contracts may place greater obligations. In the absence of an agreement, common law developed by the courts takes over.

Under common law, the employer has to give reasonable notice of termination of employment or payment in lieu of notice in case of termination without cause. Failure to comply may lead to action for damages for wrongful dismissal. “Reasonable” is determined on a case by case basis based on the employee’s age, length of employment, remuneration, position, responsibilities and availability of other employment. Notice can be a month or more for each year of service for professional and managerial employees or two to three weeks for each year of service for lower level employees. It rarely exceeds 24 months. Notice entitlement can be fulfilled through serving notice, pay in lieu of notice or a mixture of both.

Employers are advised not to use formulae for assessing notice obligation but to seek legal advice for each case. Otherwise they risk paying all compensation which should have been provided during the period of notice less any income earned from alternative employment during the period in question. Also, employers are advised not to claim “just cause” for termination as investigations will bring out the truth and the employee may be awarded a longer reasonable notice period.

Services for employees

Employees facing serious disputes at work require the services of an employment lawyer. Dutton Employment Law provides advice on all employment issues but they specialize in wrongful dismissal, severance pay and employment contracts. The details are listed on the firm’s website.

Hiring services for executives include review of employment contracts, compensation advice, pay equity determination and other services related to hiring.

During employment the services include changes to the employment contracts, breach of confidentiality, disability claims, disciplinary processes, harassment claims, and other services.

Termination of employment services include review of termination packages and disputes about pay owed, benefit continuation, human rights, fighting just cause termination, etc.

Workplace investigations

Various employment laws oblige Ontario employers to conduct reasonable workplace investigations for certain problems. The investigation has to be conducted professionally and without bias under the guidelines evolved by the courts. That is why Dutton Employment Law is committed to provide their clients with a thorough, confidential and fair process during dispute resolution. In order to achieve this, they investigate (uncover the facts) in cases such as discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to accommodate and workplace violence. Dutton Employment Law’s former clients have praised them for their timely and effective resolutions.


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