In The News

Employment Law – Changing of the Seasons

Employment Law Newsletter – Fall, 2018.

Autumn Wilderness. Photo credit: Mitchell Rose

Change is in the air. The leaves have turned bright colours, and many, if not most, have fallen to the ground. Seemingly endless summer heat waves have turned to cold days, rain and frost. Meanwhile, the days grow shorter.  Is it any surprise then that Ontario employment law, which seems to be in an almost constant state of flux, has changed again this autumn? Just as we need to switch to winter tires for safety, turn off the water to avoid frozen pipes, and dig out our warmer clothes for comfort and protection, employers need to be informed of recent legal developments, and take appropriate steps to make their workplaces compliant to avoid legal liability and excess costs. Employees need to understand how the winds of change have affected their rights – which are not always what they might first appear. In either case,  we are here to help lead you out of the wilderness.

 

 

Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018

You may have heard that the new Conservative provincial government has introduced a controversial new bill (47) with the sunny title Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018. The Act repeals many (but not all) of  the sweeping changes to employment standards legislation which the previous Liberal government created via the equally controversial (and also sunny titled) Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017  (better known as Bill 148). The most well-known of the new government’s changes is to keep the general minimum wage at $14.00 Read more →

The Importance of a Minute Book

Imagine a society with no rules, no strategies for governance, no elected officials, and no laws. It sounds chaotic because it is, and while it may not seem like an evenhanded analogy, not having a properly organized corporation with a Minute Book could result in the same chaos. Read more →

“No, and it doesn’t depend!” – The Riveting Conclusion to ‘Should Mediators Work on Contingency?’

September 2018  – 5 minute read

Welcome to the riveting conclusion of last week’s post, entitled Should Mediators Work on Contingency?  I appreciate the ‘negative’ response it generated (as in, “no, they should not work on contingency”). There should be no surprise then that, unlike the lawyer-side of my brain that often answers tough legal questions with “well, it depends”, the mediator-side is clear and unequivocal on the issue of whether mediators should charge contingency fees: “No, and it doesn’t depend (on anything, anyone, or any result)!”.

5 reasons mediators should not charge contingency fees

As mentioned previously, if ADRIC’s prohibition on mediator contingency fees is not enough to convince you that non-member mediators should follow suit, I’m prepared to try to convince you. Although I am not aware of the precise reasons why ADRIC chose to ban contingency fees, I suspect the drafters of the Code were mindful of several of the following arguments against mediator contingency fees (particularly the first two):

Reason 1: Mediators are supposed to be neutral and impartial. However, if you make the mediator’s fee – or part of that fee – dependent on achieving a settlement (or certain terms of settlement) then neutrality can be compromised since the mediation outcome affects the mediators’ ability to get paid. As Cyndi Lauper sang, Read more →