@PivotalHRCanada

Celebrating our 40th year

0
Sub-Total: $0.00

No products in the cart.

100% Secure Checkout!

Changes in Small Claims Court

We recently had a record-breaking (for us anyway) attendance to our webinar: “Wrongful Dismissal and the Changes to the Rules of Court.”  Its also a topic we blogged about a couple weeks back, and I’d like to share some of the highlights from the webinar with you.
First some background to bring us up to speed.  On January 1, 2010 the Rules of Court for small claims will be changing in Canada.  Here is a brief highlight of the changes:
1.  Claims doubled from $25k to $50k
2.  Damages doubled from $50k to $100k
3.  Simplified procedures are also being introduced for more cases
In other words, more cases can be processed in Small Claims Court, which don’t require a lawyer, and they will be subject to an enhanced Simplified Procedure.  That means less time for discovery and faster judgements.  All of whihc adds up to a lower cost barrier for disgrunlted employees to sue their former employers for wrongful dismissal cases, etc.
So although these rules mean Canadian business could get hauled off to court more often and have bigger judgements against them, they still have plenty of options to keep these costs/risks to a minimum.
1.  Have termination clauses included in all employment contracts (they need to be specific to each employee, and must meet legal minimum standards)
2.  Have an employee handbook with policies you preach and practice!  (Paper trails are your best friend)
3.  Don’t be a jerk when it comes time to terminate.  Play fair, play nice, and have a little heart.

We recently had a record-breaking (for us anyway) attendance to our webinar: “Wrongful Dismissal and the Changes to the Rules of Court.”  Its also a topic we blogged about a couple weeks back, and I’d like to share some of the highlights from the webinar with you.

First some background to bring us up to speed.  On January 1, 2010 the Rules of Court for small claims will be changing in Canada.  Here is a brief highlight of the changes:

  1. Small Claims court limits have increased from 10K to $25k
  2. Damages doubled from $50k to $100k for claims under the Simplified Procedure rule
  3. Other changes to the Simplified procedures rule are being introduced to speed up claims and reduce costs for claimants

In other words, more cases will be processed in Small Claims Court, which don’t require a lawyer, costs will be reduced for a disgruntled employee to pursue a claim against their employer.  And now more claims (up to 100K) can now be pursued under the simplified procedure rule that was previously reserved for claims up to 50K.  The additional changes to this rule relating to motions for summary judgement, timeframes for discovery, etc will further speed up the legal process for employees who want to “have their day in court.”

These rule changes mean Ontario business could potentially get hauled off to court more often and have bigger judgements awarded against them.  However, employers still have plenty of options to keep these costs/risks to a minimum.

  1. Tighten up your employment contracts.  Beyond including confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and IP agreements – have termination clauses included that are specific to each employee, and meet legal minimum standards.
  2. Have an employee handbook with policies you preach and practice!  (Paper trails are your best friend)
  3. As Elvis said, “Don’t be cruel”  when it comes time to terminate.  Play fair, play nice, and have a little heart.

Give us a shout if you would like some assistance preparing you business for these changes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend