BANKRUPTCY AND OUTSTANDING WAGES - WHAT TO DO

QUESTION: I have worked for a company for the last 10 years and the company is presently in dire financial circumstances.  Our pay cheques have been late a few times and it seems like the bank may foreclose at any minute.  Right now, I am owed an unpaid guaranteed bonus that was due 2 months ago as well as 3 weeks of outstanding vacation pay.  If the company goes bankrupt, how can I get this money?
 

UNDERSTANDING MARITAL AND FAMILY STATUS WITHIN A CORPORATION

A large local employer we will call Acme Education Systems has an internal employment policy which prohibits situations in which one relative can directly influence the employment of another.  The policy seeks to avoid conflict of interest situations in a manner consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code.  Unfortunately, it does not succeed in that goal. 
 

ACCOMMODATING BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS, EMPLOYERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO A CLEAR RULE

In recent years, the literature supporting the importance of breastfeeding has grown. More and more mothers are breastfeeding their children for as long as possible. As this trend continues, employers are going to be asked more often to make accommodations for mothers who are returning to work but want to continue to breastfeed.
 

MISTAKE CAN BE VIEWED AS BAD FAITH

A woman we will call Lucinda worked for 32 years on the assembly line in a car plant.  Her job was to do the final tightening on six bolts on a door locking system.  The bolts were initially tightened by another worker with an air gun.  Her job was to make the final turn with her torque wrench on all six bolts.
 

PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE IS IN BOTH PARTIES BEST INTERESTS

Employers often view progressive discipline as a burdensome process they have to endure. For non-unionized employees, if there are significant performance issues and the employer is to have any hope of establishing just cause for a termination, a progressive discipline process has to be followed. Although non-unionized employees are not entitled to any reason for a termination, if there is not just cause they will be owed pay in lieu of reasonable notice.
 

MOVE LOCATION OR LOSE YOUR JOB

With the advent of free trade and the globalization of economies, the trend of transferring employees from country to country and even between continents is increasing.   Many people are only too happy to be transferred anywhere warmer than here, but that is not always the case.  The question often arises, do you have to go?  If the company says you're moving to Ohio and you say no, have you failed to fulfill your obligation to take all reasonable steps to reduce your wage loss? 
 

ACCOMMODATING A DISABILITY

QUESTION: I have been working for a company for 5 years that runs 10-hour shifts.  A few months ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and for the last few months have had to sleep using a CPAC machine to prevent me from stopping breathing while I=m sleeping.  My doctor became concerned that 10-hour shifts were too long for someone with my condition and gave me a note to give to my employer indicating that I could work only two 10-hour shifts a week and the other three shifts needed to be 8-hour shifts for a 44-hour total.  When the company received the note, they hauled me into the office and told me they were putting me on short term disability.  Can they do this?
 

MINISTRY OF LABOUR MAY GIVE MISLEADING ADVICE REGARDING LEGALITY OF LAYOFF

QUESTION:   After 14 years of continuous service, last week I received a notice from my employer that I was going to be “temporarily laid off” starting in a few weeks. I have never been laid off in the past and no one has even suggested that it was a possibility. Do I have to just sit around and wait for them to call me back or have I been fired?
 

IS BAD BEHAVIOUR A CONSTRUCTIVE DISMISSAL?

A man named Larry worked for a wine producer for ten years.  Around Larry's seventh year of employment, he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager with approximately three sales representatives reporting to him.

Age Discrimination Needs Evidence

QUESTION: There is a pattern of behaviour in my company that I and other senior employees find extremely distressing.  We are in an industry where the sales cycle through no fault of our own. When things are slow, the young executive team with their Masters in Business Administration start looking for heads to role.  The pattern is that someone with twenty or more years of experience will be moved into a new job.  Soon after, they will be told that their job has been made redundant and will be given a mediocre severance package.   Is this age discrimination?