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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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The pitfalls of unwritten contracts – Part 1

This is not to suggest that written contracts provide perfect inoculation against lawsuits—litigants often misunderstand the obvious; written information may be open to multiple interpretations; and people sue even when they have no case. Two important considerations when making an agreement that you wish to be legally binding and enforceable in a court of law, are:

 

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What charites & non-profits can learn from the Ministry of Labour blitz on unpaid internships

Volunteers and unpaid interns are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and therefore are not subject to minimum wage and other requirements of the legislation. However, on September 30, 2014, the Ministry of Labour released the results of its recent blitz where it was determined that a number of unpaid interns in various sectors of the economy were actually employees covered by the ESA, and accordingly, entitled to minimum wages, vacation pay and other protections afforded to employees under the ESA. While the Ministry of Labour did not specifically target charities and non-profits in this blitz, there are many lessons to be learned due to the large number of volunteers and unpaid interns working in these sectors.

 

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Five-year commercial restrictive covenant upheld

Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements are fairly common in employment contracts, but courts also commonly find them to be unenforceable due to unreasonable or unclear restrictions. When parties negotiate a restrictive covenant in the context of a transfer of a business, however, the rules are different, even where the seller of the business agrees to work for the buyer. The Supreme Court of Canada recently dealt with a case like this.

 

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