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Vice & Hunter LLP

August 2017 Archives

Elder abuse: Ontario beats Ottawa up over long-term care issues

Three out of four Ottawa long-term care facilities have less than stellar reviews from the province regarding safety and care. The city received a blanket order from the province of Ontario after a number of incidents at the facilities including the alleged repeated punching of a resident by a caregiver. Another incident of elder abuse resulted in a resident suffering head injuries that apparently were covered up.

Notice periods for short-term employees who are terminated.

Short-term employees who are terminated from their jobs often believe they won't get a long notice period or significant severance pay because they haven't worked at the company for a long time. Absent an enforceable termination clause in their employment contract, this is often not true.

Employee rights not typically covered under OHSA for harassment

An arbitrator has recently released a decision that employers may not be answerable to laws governing workplace harassment. Specifically, Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act does not hold employers legally accountable for harassment and other violations of employee rights if they are perpetrated by other employees or managers within the company. This has profound implications for employees who experience harassment in the workplace.

A co-owner can force a sale of a home

A common problem that we see today is when two or more people own a home and one of them refuses to sell. Whether it is in the context of an estate or family dispute, often the party who refuses to sell the property wants to buy out the other's interest. The proposition is usually less than fair market value and parties are ultimately unable to come to a resolution. This is when the owner who wants to sell asks a lawyer for assistance in making an application under the Partition Act, RSO 1990, c. P.4 for the partition (the physical division of the land) or a sale of the shared property.

Elder abuse is prevalent and should be reported

Seniors in Ontario are often victims of abuse and neglect, but fear of retribution or pride may keep them from reporting it. Elder abuse can take on various forms, including financial, physical and psychological abuse. Sadly the perpetrators are often family members or otherwise close to the victim, and sometimes, they are even reliant on the senior financially and/or for shelter.

Elder abuse a continuing problem

Police in the nation's capital are reminding adult children of elderly people in long-term care to watch for signs of abuse. This comes on the tail of an Ontario police investigation into an alleged incident of elder abuse perpetrated against an 89-year-old man at a city-run long-term care facility in Ottawa. While it is mandatory for care facilities to report abuse to police, in many instances, the incidents go tragically unreported.

Nondisparagement agreements used to violate employee rights

Nondisparagement agreements, better known as NDAs, are fairly common in the business world. Ontario residents may have come across employment scenarios in which they have been asked to sign agreements that forbid them from discussing or speaking poorly of a company and its activities outside of the context of the business. Unfortunately, some experts in employee rights believe these agreements are quickly becoming a cover for abuses in the workplace.