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Ontario

Entire agreement clause prohibits former CEO's claims for collateral agreement and negligent misrepresentation

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

In McNeely v. Herbal Magic Inc., 2011 ONSC 4237 the court ruled that an "entire agreement" clause in the employment contract (and in another agreement) was fatal to a former president and CEO's claim for damages for breach of a collateral agreement and for negligent misrepresentation against the company that he used to work for and that had terminated his employment.

"Are Unpaid Internships Legal in Ontario?"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Labour has posted a policy document on its website, titled "Are Unpaid Internships Legal in Ontario? (June 2011)". The policy document reads as follows:

The Ministry of Labour is committed to ensuring fairness and protecting young workers. The fact that you are called an "intern" does not determine whether or not you are entitled to the protections of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), including the minimum wage.  read more »

Ontario Court of Appeal to consider tort of invasion of privacy in work context case

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Law Times ran a story ("Appeal court to consider privacy tort") today on the decision in Jones v. Tsige, 2011 ONSC 1475.

It is a case concerning two employees of the Bank of Montreal who worked at different branches. Over the course of four years, one employee (the "Defendant") accessed the personal banking information of the other employee, who was also a customer of the bank (the "Plaintiff"), on 176 occasions. 

Rather than filing a complaint with the federal privacy commissioner under PIPEDA, and ultimately going to the federal court for recourse, the Plaintiff sued the Defendant for the common law tort of invasion of privacy.

In its decision issued on March 23, 2011, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, citing precedent, ruled that there is no tort of invasion of privacy in Ontario.

The Ontario Court of Appeal will now have an opportunity to weigh in on this issue.  read more »

ONCA allows appeal, grants declaration that restrictive covenant is unreasonable and therefore unenforceable

Jurisdiction: - Ontario - United States
Sector: - Manufacturing

In Mason v. Chem-Trend Limited Partnership, 2011 ONCA 344, the Ontario Court of appeal overturned the application judge's decision and ruled that the following restrictive covenant was unreasonable and therefore unenforceable against a 17 year technical salesperson whose employment was terminated for just cause:

I agree that if my employment is terminated for any reason by me or by the Company, I will not, for a period of one year following the termination, directly or indirectly, for my own account or as an employee or agent of any business entity, engage in any business or activity in competition with the Company by providing services or products to, or soliciting business from, any business entity which was a customer of the Company during the period in which I was an employee of the Company, or take any action that will cause the termination of the business relationship between the Company and any customer, or solicit for employment any person employed by the Company.

Ontario court refuses to certify class action based on claims of constructive dismissal and breach of ESA

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Insurance

In Kafka v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 2011 ONSC 2305 - which was issued on April 12, 2011 - the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to certify a propsed class action that was based on allegations of:

  • constructive dismissal; and
  • a claim for termination pay and/or severance under the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

The claim pertained to a general announcement letter that Allstate issued on July 24, 2007, to approximately 350 to 450 active agents (employees) in Ontario, advising that effective September 1, 2009 a revised product distribution model and agent compensation system would be implemented.  The new model was then phased in from September 1, 2007 through 2009. 

The court summarized the issue on the certification motion (application), and its decision, as follows:  read more »