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Category Archives: Contractors

Don’t judge a relationship by its title: Misclassification of employees as contractors

Employment relationships are not always black and white, even if there is a written agreement between both parties. Such relationships exist along a continuum, with employees and independent contractors at either end, and dependent contractors falling somewhere in the middle. While independent contractors do not have the same rights and protections as employees do under employment standards legislation or the […]


If It Looks Like a Duck, Quacks Like a Duck…

Just because you call yourself a contractor, or you treat your worker as one, does not make it so. As one of my recent Canadian HR Law blog posts discusses, even if both parties choose to define the relationship as one that is independent, our courts, tribunals and government agencies will look beyond the contract or label and assess the […]


Twenty-six months of severance for a Dependent Contractor???

Since the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in McKee v. Reid Heritage Homes in 2009, the category of workers deemed “dependent contractors”, as opposed to either employees or independent contractors, has become more accepted. The concept continues to develop legally, and the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Keenan v. Canac Kitchens provides clarity on a key aspect of the […]


Calling an employee an “independent contractor” exposes both parties to liability

In my latest blog post for First Reference Talks, I addressed the prevalent issue of “independent contractors” that are employees in all but name, and the risks that both parties expose themselves to when they choose to pay an employee as if they were independent. As I have written about in the past, there seems to be a trend toward […]


Ontario Court of Appeal Sends Strong Message to Employers Failing to Observe Duty to Provide a Safe and Healthy Workplace

CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE IN THE WORKPLACE:  COURT OF APPEAL SENDS STRONG MESSAGE Four employees fell 14 stories to their deaths in 2009, when their swing stage collapsed. None of the workers were secured with the proper protection. One of the deceased was Metron’s Site Supervisor on the project. A fifth worker also fell but survived, suffering serious injuries. A sixth worker […]


How ‘independent’ are your contractors?

While workers may be happy to be able to deduct expenses and pay tax as an independent contractor, they often change their tune when they discover that being a contractor deprives them of the protection of employment standards legislation. Many workers unknowingly give up rights such as statutory holidays, overtime pay, and notice of termination/severance pay, and many organizations unknowingly […]



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