The Challenge of Fresh Consideration in Amended Employment Agreements

All contracts require the legal elements of offer, acceptance, and a passing of ‘consideration’ between the contracting parties. Without these elements, the contract is neither binding nor enforceable. These same principles apply when an employer varies a pre-existing employment agreement. Without fresh consideration, unilateral changes to an employment agreement may render the contract unenforceable. Except for the rare case where an employment agreement explicitly provides otherwise, an employer cannot unilaterally…

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A Caution Before Expanding an Employee’s Job Duties: Risks of the Changed Substratum Doctrine

A change in job duties occurs when the terms of an employee’s role are materially changed over time, such as: a decrease/ increase in work hours, or a decrease/ increase in responsibility. In demoting an employee, through unilateral changes to the employment agreement, an employer runs the well-known risk of triggering a constructive dismissal claim. But what is the risk when duties are expanded? When an employer substantively expands an…

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Three-Months’ Mortgage Interest – To Charge or Not to Charge

Almost all mortgage agreements provide that if a mortgage goes into default, the borrower will be responsible for paying various fees and charges above the principal and interest.  Common among these is a fee equal to three months’ interest on the amount in arrears, which often appears on discharge statements when a mortgage is in default. However, apart from fees and charges that are genuine pre-estimates of reasonable administrative costs…

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The Trump New York Summary Judgment: Protecting the Marketplace

As much attention as legal proceedings involving Donald Trump receive, so much of the focus is on Mr. Trump’s in- and out-of-court antics that the legal underpinning of different matters is often easy to lose sight of. For instance, in coverage of the recently completed trial in New York regarding civil fraud allegations against Mr. Trump and a variety of related individuals and organizations, it is only occasionally adverted to…

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When a Request for Mental Health Leave Strains the Business

The modern workplace has seen a rise in requests for stress and mental health leave. In a labour market that is still recovering from the aftermath of the Pandemic, how can employers best manage these requests and keep business operating smoothly? While poor mental health is certainly a recognized legitimate health concern, accommodating a leave of absence can place tremendous strain on a business’ operations. Failure to manage these requests…

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