Monkhouse Law’s Employment Lawyers in the News

The Toronto employment lawyers at Monkhouse Law, a leading employment law and disability insurance law firm in Greater Toronto area, are frequently sought after by reporters, editors, as well as TV and radio producers for insight and commentary on important and breaking news on disability insurance law, labour law, employment insurance lawwrongful dismissal law, CPP disability law, human rights law and Ontario employment law.

Importantly, we are pioneers in employee class action lawsuits in the gig economy (especially “industry disruptors”), acting against companies that are finding new and creative ways to circumvent existing employment laws and labour laws at the expense of employees who are frequently labelled as independent contractors.

Lawyers from Monkhouse Law are specifically sought after for media comments due to their strong track record of appearing in court successfully for their clients. They are “trial tested” unlike many employment lawyers who claim expertise but have either never won a trial or the last trial they won was 15 years ago.

We make answering media requests for interviews a priority because we believe that the public, including our clients, benefit from knowing more about employment laws, human rights laws, and disability laws.

 

Monkhouse Law has been featured in over 25 publications

Our Toronto employment lawyers have been featured in the media almost 50 times in over 25 publications since 2015:

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  • Advisor.ca
  • Canadian Employment Law Today
  • Canadian HR Reporter
  • Canadian Lawyer
  • Canadian Occupational Safety
  • Canadian Underwriter
  • CBC News
  • CityNews
  • Exchange Magazine
  • FirstReference HR Blog
  • Global News
  • Hamilton Spectator
  • HR Reporter
  • Insurance Business Canada
  • Investment Executive
  • Law and Style Magazine
  • Radio Canada International (RCI)
  • The Financial Post
  • The Law Times
  • The Lawyer’s Daily
  • The National Post
  • The Toronto Star
  • The Toronto Sun
  • TruckNews.com

 

2019 News & Publications

Monkhouse Law is featured in The Lawyer’s Daily, The Law Times, Global News, CityNews, CBC News, Radio Canada International (RCI), Exchange Magazine, Insurance Business Canada, FirstReference HR Blog, Canadian Employment Law Today, Canadian Underwriter, Investment Executive, Advisor.ca, TruckNews.com, Canadian Occupational Safety, and The Toronto Star.

 

November 12, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Rights of workers in gig economy
The Canadian economy is increasingly being disrupted by new global businesses based on Internet apps and platforms. They are providing precarious gig economy work. In some cases, these are the only alternatives for people who no longer have access to traditional paid employment. Often this is because local employers have been driven out of business by the new competition.

 

October 29, 2019
Cision
Monkhouse Law launches 12 Million Dollar employee class action lawsuit against AE Hospitality, for misclassification of restaurant workers
An employee class action lawsuit has been filed by Monkhouse Law against AE Hospitality of Toronto that operated two closely related catering companies, Encore Food with Elegance and Applause Catering Inc. The two catering companies no longer exist and have been replaced by Encore Catering.

The employee lawsuit claims damages of $5 million for breached employment standards and $2 million in missed CCP and EI premiums. It also seeks $5 million in punitive damages for a total of 12 million dollars.

 

October 29, 2019
The Canadian Bar Association
Samantha Lucifora of Monkhouse law speaks at the Ontario Bar Association conference of “Ending the Employment Relationship”
From the moment an employee is hired, you need to be considering how that relationship might end: ensuring that the employment contract has appropriate and enforceable termination provisions; avoiding actions that might be construed as a constructive dismissal; and, ultimately, considering all of the relevant factors when the employer-employee relationship ends. This expert faculty will ensure that you can confidently counsel your client on these issues.

 

October 1, 2019
Cision 
Monkhouse Law is top growing law firm for 2019: The Globe and Mail’s ROB
Employment Law firm Monkhouse Law is the top growing law firm on the inaugural Report on Business (ROB) ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies, launched by The Globe and Mail newspaper.

 

September 27, 2019
The Globe and Mail
Report on Business: Canada’s Top Growing Companies
Monkhouse Law is one of the 400 fastest growing businesses in Canada.

 

August 20, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Fine balance needed by courts in third-party litigation funding
The first time that third-party funding was approved for an Ontario class action was Dugal v. Manulife Financial Corp. [2011] O.J. No. 1239. Justice George Strathy took a deep look at the nature of class actions and decided to approve it.

 

August 15, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Questions about why Canada Post spent $21M to aggressively defend pay inequity
Following an access to information request, it has come to light that Canada Post spent $21 million in legal fees fighting employees seeking pay equity in a case that dates back to the 1980s. And, that’s not all: Canada Post fought for six years to keep the figure a secret.

 

August 9, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Champerty in third-party litigation funding
Specialized hedge funds have emerged that are willing to speculate on the outcome of legal cases, including class actions. They are referred to as third-party litigation funders.

They will fund the expenses of running the case, and an adverse cost award if it is lost, in exchange for a percentage of the winnings in a favourable case. In Ontario, in some of the earliest cases where they appeared, they were willing to undercut the Class Proceedings Fund, e.g., by charging only seven percent rather than 10 percent of the winnings

 

July 25, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Case highlights ability for clients, counsel to speak publicly on ongoing lawsuits, lawyer says
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has dismissed a defamation counterclaim against a former employee seeking damages for wrongful dismissal after she spoke publicly about an insurer’s alleged discriminatory policies. The court ruled the matter to be of public interest.

 

July 25, 2019
The Law Times
Ontario court dismisses libel action brought by Allstate Insurance
The Ontario Superior Court has dismissed a libel action brought by Allstate Insurance Company of Canada after Allstate sued a former employee who said she was fired for opposing discriminatory policies within the company.

 

July 23, 2019
Global News (Canadian Press syndicated story)
Allstate loses bid to sue whistleblower who alleged policy discrimination
The issue, according to Superior Court Justice Jessica Kimmel, was whether Joshi was able to talk freely and publicly about her concerns related to Allstate’s allegedly discriminatory sales practices.

“(They are) the same sales practices that she says she resisted implementing and that resulted in her being fired,” Kimmel said. “This is a matter of public interest.”

 

July 23, 2019
CityNews (Canadian Press syndicated story)
Allstate loses bid to sue whistleblower who alleged policy discrimination
TORONTO — An insurance company was trying to stifle criticism when it sued a former employee who alleged the corporation was discriminating against visible minority drivers, an Ontario court has found.

In dismissing a $700,000 counterclaim against Medha Joshi, the judge ruled Allstate Insurance Company of Canada had run afoul of legislation that protects whistleblowers and the media when they raise matters in the public interest.

 

July 23, 2019
CBC News
Ontario Superior Court dismisses Allstate Canada’s counter-claim to wrongful dismissal lawsuit
Judge rules employees can speak to media about human rights abuses; Allstate says it might appeal ruling.

 

July 23, 2019
Radio Canada International (RCI) (French Network)
Un tribunal ontarien rejette une poursuite d’Allstate contre une lanceuse d’alerte
La Cour supérieure de l’Ontario rejette une poursuite pour diffamation intentée par la compagnie d’assurance Allstate Canada contre une ex-employée.

Allstate poursuivait pour près d’un million de dollars Medha Joshi pour atteinte à sa réputation après avoir déclaré à des médias ce que l’assureur qualifiait de faussetés malicieuses.

 

July 23, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Labour board finds placement agency to be employer
The line between independent contractors and employees can often be blurred. Not only are contract and temporary workers more common than ever in today’s workforce, but independent contractors also use a variety of legal structures to take advantage of business tax breaks. So, while some independent contractors are incorporated, others remain sole proprietors. This makes determining who is entitled to employment standard protections, and who is not, more challenging.

 

June 12, 2019
Radio Canada International (English Network)
Companies accused of ‘misclassifying’ employees to avoid paying benefits
There are employers who classify their employees as “independent contractors” in order to avoid paying benefits, overtime and other entitlements such as holiday pay says employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse. This is against labour law in the province of Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.

 

June 13, 2019
Exchange Magazine
Directors of companies that exploit workers may face personal liability, employment lawyer warns
Employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse is warning that employers who misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ in an attempt to avoid paying benefits, overtime, and other entitlements may find themselves on the hook for sizeable penalties in the form of directors and officers liability.

 

June 10, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Legal professionals should not be dealing with age discrimination in 2019
In the legal profession, ageism usually exists in subtle ways because legal professionals tend to normalize and accept age discrimination. Rather than acting as a catalyst for age discrimination, legal professionals should implement policies and procedures that preserve employment security and integrity of senior applicants. This seems to be the old adage of “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” applied to the legal profession.

 

May 25, 2019
Global News
‘I couldn’t believe it’ — why disability claims for mental health are often a struggle
The basic problem with mental illness is that it’s less visible than a physical ailment. When a worker loses a hand due to an accident, it’s hard to dispute that they have developed a disability, said Andrew Monkhouse, a Toronto employment lawyer.

But when dealing with problems like depression or anxiety, the medical evidence is far less straightforward than, say, an MRI or a blood test. And the issue is not just assessing whether someone suffers from a certain disorder but how far they are along the spectrum, according to Monkhouse. The key question is: what extent is the illness interfering with an employee’s ability to do their job?

 

May 17, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
Changes to averaging agreements may strain employer-employee relationships
Bill 66 is not to be confused with Route 66, the legendary U.S. highway known as “the Main Street of America.” Route 66 took drivers into towns and cities along 2,400 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif. Bill 66, like other omnibus bills, is quite contrary to Route 66. Rather than being clear legislative roadmaps, omnibus bills tend to have many one-way streets, ambiguous alleys and shortcuts.

 

May 17, 2019
Insurance Business Canada
Whistleblower faces $700,000 lawsuit from Allstate Canada
Ex-agency manager Mehdi Joshi is on the receiving end of a countersuit that could cost her over $700,000 in damages. Her lawyer, Andrew Monkhouse, warned that the legal dispute could set a dangerous precedent and discourage private-sector employees from speaking out against their employers.

 

May 16, 2019
CBC News
Allstate whistleblower facing $700K lawsuit says insurance giant trying to silence her

Joshi claims she was fired last year after confronting her managers over a plan to stop selling insurance to drivers who live in Brampton, which has some of the highest premiums in Ontario. “We do hope that if we’re successful, it will give a clear message to all employees that if they have concerns of impropriety at their workplace, that they’re able to voice those concerns,” Monkhouse said.

 

April 30, 2019
FirstReference HR Blog
Class action lawsuit against RBC/Aviva
According to April 23, 2019, CNW press release, an $80-million class action lawsuit has been filed against RBC Insurance and Aviva General Insurance alleging that the company’s practice of calculating vacation and public holiday pay for commissioned salespeople violated the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

The class action was filed by Monkhouse Law in Toronto on behalf of plaintiff Kabir Singh, an RBC advisor from 2016 to April 2019. If this class action is certified, all employees who fall under the suit’s definition will be members unless they opt-out. Former commissioned salespeople with either RBC or Aviva with information are asked to contact Monkhouse Law.

 

April 24, 2019
Canadian Employment Law Today
RBC, Aviva face possible class action over vacation, holiday pay
A law firm has filed for certification of a class action lawsuit against RBC Insurance and Aviva General Insurance.
The $80-million lawsuit alleges the company’s practice of calculating vacation and public holiday pay for commissioned salespeople violated the Employment Standards Act.

 

Apr. 24, 2019
Canadian Underwriter
How sales commissions can result in disputes over vacation pay
Calculating employees’ vacation pay can be an issue for any company whose sales staff earn both a base salary and commission, Toronto employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse, managing partner and owner of Monkhouse Law, said in an interview.

 

April 23, 2019
Investment Executive
Proposed class action alleges RBC Insurance, Aviva shortchanged commissioned employees
A proposed class action has been filed against RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and Aviva General Insurance Company, alleging that the firms failed to properly compensate commissioned salespeople for vacation and public holiday pay.

Monkhouse Law filed the $80-million class action on behalf of Kabir Singh, who was an insurance advisor at RBC from 2016 to April 2019. In a release, the law firm said commissioned salespeople were shortchanged by the two companies, which allegedly calculated vacation and public holiday pay based on the employees’ base salary, rather than total compensation.

 

April 23, 2019
Advisor.ca
Proposed class action alleges RBC Insurance, Aviva shortchanged commissioned employees
A proposed class action has been filed against RBC Insurance Agency Ltd. and Aviva General Insurance Company, alleging that the firms failed to properly compensate commissioned salespeople for vacation and public holiday pay.

 

April 20, 2019
Global News
The gig economy is making cash flow management a nearly impossible task
The law provides few avenues for independent workers faced with late or missing payments. With the exception of the construction industry, where unpaid contractors can register a lien against the property they worked on, freelancers and side-hustlers are largely left to their own devices, according to Andrew Monkhouse, a Toronto-based employment lawyer.

 

March 28, 2019
Canadian Underwriter
How harassment lawsuit ruling affects insurers
Despite a recent ruling that harassment is not a free-standing tort in Ontario, corporate clients and their brokers still need to view harassment accusations as a serious liability risk.

In Merrifield v. The Attorney General, released in 2017, Justice Mary Vallee of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded RCMP officer Peter Merrifield more than $140,000 and found that Ontario has a free-standing tort of harassment.

 

March 28, 2019
TruckNews.com (Fleet Tax Services)
How Bill C-86 affects leaves of absence and vacation pay
This is the first of a four-part contribution to Trucking HR Canada’s “Modernizing Your HR Approach” blog series covering some of the changes in Bill C-86, starting with new provisions related to leaves of absence and vacation pay.

 

February 25, 2019
The Lawyer’s Daily
High damages award upheld for employee fired for alleged fraud, intimidated with counter-claim
The Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision to award “unusually high” costs to a man terminated for alleged fraud is a “strong message” to employers to take care when making a counter-claim against an employee, counsel said. In Ruston v. Keddco Mfg. (2011) Ltd. 2019 ONCA 125, the court heard that in 2015 Scott Ruston, the respondent was terminated from his position as president of Keddco Mfg., the appellant. Ruston was told he was being terminated “for cause and that he had committed fraud.”

 

February 22, 2019
Canadian Occupational Safety
Several issues to consider in calling a snow day: Experts
Generally, in Ontario, there’s no requirement to pay employees when they aren’t working but some companies might still pay workers if they close the office, or close the office early, said Andrew Monkhouse, senior lawyer and founder of Monkhouse Law in Toronto.

But the vast majority of people in Ontario work on annual salaries, so “the expectation is that they will get the work done some other way, even though their employer is allowed to dock them for time not worked — similar for a doctor’s appointment or something else. The tendency is to not do that. But it depends on the employer.”

 

February 19, 2019
The Toronto Star (Canadian Press syndicated article)
Large damage award upheld by Ontario appeals court for employee who was fired and threatened
A company that fired a senior employee for alleged fraud and then tried to scare him into going along with the dismissal will have to pay him hefty damages as well as an unusually high amount for his legal costs, Ontario’s top court ruled on Tuesday.

“This decision is a reminder to companies of their obligation to be candid and honest with employees, particularly during and after termination, a vulnerable time,” Samantha Lucifora, one of Ruston’s lawyers, said after last year’s trial decision.

 

2018 News & Publications

Monkhouse Law is featured in Insurance Business Canada, CBC News, The Law Times, The Toronto Sun, Canadian Lawyer, The Financial Post, The Lawyer’s Daily, The Toronto Star and The National Post.

 

December 17, 2018
Insurance Business Canada
Lawsuit accuses Allstate of discriminatory practices
One of the country’s largest insurers has found itself in hot water after a former agent accused it of refusing to sell auto insurance to residents in Brampton, a community in southern Ontario with a large population of visible minorities.

 

December 15, 2018
CBC News
Allstate tried to cut off auto insurance sales to drivers in Brampton, lawsuit claims
An Ontario woman is taking one of the province’s biggest insurance providers to court, alleging she was fired for pushing back on the company’s “discriminatory” effort to stop selling plans to drivers who live in Brampton. “It’s just wrong. There is no other word for it,” said Medha Joshi. “I said it was wrong, and I was reprimanded for it.”

 

November 8, 2018
CBC News
‘I told them the truth’: Worker says job offer taken away over medical cannabis prescription
Clayton Hannah says he wanted to be honest with a future employer when he disclosed that he has a medical cannabis prescription, but now believes it cost him a lucrative job offer. Hannah was concerned that THC from a cannabis oil treatment he had taken to treat his cancer might still be lingering in his system. He has follicular lymphoma, a form of incurable blood cancer that progresses slowly. Hannah said he was prescribed cannabis oil with a high THC content to experiment with tumour suppression.

 

September 10, 2018
The Law Times
Worker wins damages after colleague says racial slur
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ordered a man who used a racial slur to pay $1,000 in damages to a colleague who overheard the comment in a workplace lunchroom. Andrew Monkhouse, of Monkhouse Law in Toronto, says it’s more common for people to pursue claims against their employer, not other employees.

“I think for a client who’s experienced this, it shows that the HRTO is a valid option for pursuing it, and, obviously, this person was able to get what they asked for — they asked for $1,000, the tribunal awarded that. So, I think that that’s beneficial,” he says.

 

August 2, 2018
The Toronto Sun (sponsored content)
Employment Lawyer says mental health sufferers often denied disability unfairly
Depression quickly set in: “I was devastated on how they could treat a 30-year employee, who has always done his job well based on all previous reviews was terminated over the phone,” says a telecommunications expert making more than $100K a year. He was transferred to the U.S from Canada as part of a large company re-organization, but things quickly unravelled as he fought depression and anxiety. Within a year, he applied for disability benefits, only to be denied and then terminated leaving him, feeling hopeless and destroyed.

 

May 28, 2018
The Law Times
OCA ruling to influence firing decisions by employers
Employment lawyers say an Ontario Court of Appeal decision endorsing the application of the good faith doctrine in the performance of termination clauses injects a measure of fairness into firing decisions.“This decision shows a real and important extension of the good faith doctrine,” adds Toronto employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse, who was not involved in the case.

 

April 16, 2018
The Law Times
Class actions on worker misclassification will continue
According to Toronto employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse, many employers are attracted to contractor relationships with workers by the accounting simplicity of a smaller workforce.

“In my experience, it’s motivated by the tax implications, rather than avoiding vacation pay or other ESA entitlements. It can be quite onerous on small businesses to do statutory deductions for employment insurance and [the Canada Pension Plan] on a monthly basis,” he says. “But over time, misclassification can hurt workers.”

 

March 15, 2018
Canadian Lawyer
Costs awarded to plaintiff class in Ontario lawyers’ action against Deloitte
An Ontario Superior Court justice has found that the class action lawsuit brought against Deloitte LLP by lawyers who had reviewed documents for the firm constituted a success for the plaintiff class, and he has granted the representative plaintiff for the class a cost award.

 

March 7, 2018
The Financial Post
Lawyers’ class action over unpaid employment benefits masks regulatory inaction over unauthorized legal services
On its face, the case is about whether Deloitte misclassified the lawyers as independent contractors rather than employees and so wrongfully deprived them of statutory overtime, vacation and holiday pay.

“Deloitte’s position is probably based on conflicts and regulatory issues,” said Andrew Monkhouse, managing partner of Monkhouse Law, who is co-counsel for the class with Samuel Marr of Landy Marr Kats LLP. “The issue of whether Deloitte was providing legal services won’t come up directly in the case, but it is hanging over everything.”

 

February 25, 2018
The Lawyer’s Daily
Class action against Deloitte highlights need for positions to be examined and classified
Over 400 lawyers are bringing a class action against Deloitte for compensation of unpaid overtime, vacation and statutory holidays in a claim that alleges they were misclassified as independent contractors instead of as employees.

“We feel strongly that the class members were not given the benefits that employees are entitled to and so the case is going to move forward now that it’s been certified,” said Samuel Marr, of Landy Marr Kats LLP and counsel for the class with Andrew Monkhouse, managing partner of Monkhouse Law.

 

February 19, 2018
The Toronto Star
Novelist’s battle over disability insurance claim sparks a reckoning in Quebec
Social media snooping by claims agents is “fairly common,” said Andrew Monkhouse, founder of Toronto employment law firm Monkhouse Law.

“At the lower-level assessment, there is, in my opinion, a lot of judgment being made,” he said. “Like, ‘Oh, this person’s depressed, but here’s a picture of them at a birthday party where they look happy, so they can’t be depressed.’ ”

 

February 12, 2018
The National Post (sponsored content)
Terminated? What you do when faced with job loss is crucial, employment lawyer warns

In utter shock, she packed up her desk and a week later signed off on the termination package. Fortunately, the 39-year-old landed on her feet within three months but, in retrospect, Reynolds wishes she had had not signed off so soon and instead sought out legal advice regarding her entitlements.

Don’t panic and don’t sign anything right away, stresses leading employment lawyer Andrew Monkhouse.

 

2017 News & Publications

Monkhouse Law is featured in Canadian HR Reporter, The Law Times and HR Reporter.

 

November 27, 2017
Canadian HR Reporter
Why is sexual harassment not going away?
And with the media spotlight trained squarely on sexual harassment, victims are becoming more willing to come forward with claims, said Andrew Monkhouse, employment lawyer at Monkhouse Law in Toronto.“Increased knowledge has led to an increased number of complaints about sexual harassment, specifically in the workplace… The right things are happening in terms of people coming out and speaking out about how they’ve been treated.”

 

April 24, 2017
The Law Times
Certification motion adjourned for 60 days
Lawyers for the plaintiff class said in a press release that the ruling is a “significant step forward for misclassified workers who do not have the same protections as employees.”

“This certification motion shows that employers who misclassify employees as contractors can have substantial liability towards those workers, no matter what the contract says,” said plaintiff class lawyer Andrew Monkhouse.

 

April 17, 2017
HR Reporter
Do we need a law banning high heels?
This issue involves people who are in a very vulnerable position, with their employment potentially being terminated, said Andrew Monkhouse, senior lawyer and founder of Monkhouse Law in Toronto.

 

March 6, 2017
The Law Times
Speaker’s Corner: Civil delays and access to justice
In the 2016 decision of R v. Jordan, the Supreme Court of Canada revisited s. 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The section states that an accused person has the right “to be tried within a reasonable time.” In Jordan, the court outlined a new test in order to alleviate the “culture of delay.”

 

2015 News & Publications

Monkhouse Law is featured in Hamilton Spectator, Law and Style Magazine and The Toronto Star.

 

March 20, 2015
Hamilton Spectator
Employees get severance in lieu of notice
“Employees might be eligible for up to a month’s wages per year of service, or even more if they are short-service employees,” said Monkhouse. “Unfortunately, many people don’t know their rights and might sign without having their contract reviewed.”

 

March 13, 2015
Law and Style Magazine
Deloitte’s document review branch hit with $384-million class action lawsuit
A Toronto lawyer has filed a massive class action lawsuit against Deloitte LLP, seeking $384 million on behalf of lawyers who worked at the accounting giant’s document-review branch. Deloitte stormed into the document-review game last January, when it acquired ATD Legal Services, a start-up that specialized in outsourced legal work, often assisting on major files for the largest law firms in the city. Founded in 2010, ATD was the brainchild of Shelby Austin, a former partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, who continues to oversee the document-review team at Deloitte. Both ATD and Deloitte hired contract lawyers to perform much of the work on a project-by-project basis.

 

March 13, 2015
The Toronto Star
Deloitte sued for $384 million in lawyer class action
A Toronto lawyer has launched a $384-million class action lawsuit against Deloitte LLP, alleging that hundreds of lawyers were misclassified as independent contractors, depriving them of employee benefits.

The lawsuit claims that as independent contractors, the lawyers missed out on Employment Standards Act entitlements such as vacation or overtime pay, and the company was not required to provide termination notice.

 






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