Simes Law




Employment Contracts and Independent Contractor Agreements

Employment Contracts are now standard for most positions. A written employment contract outlines the terms, conditions, and expectations of the employment relationship. A well-drafted contract can prevent misunderstandings, mitigate disputes, and serve as a legal safeguard in case of unforeseen challenges.

In addition to compensation and benefits, an employment contract may:

  • Limit termination pay and severance pay
  • Remove the right to sue for constructive dismissal
  • Include confidentiality and intellectual property ownership
  • Include non-solicitation and non-compete clauses
  • Provide procedures for resolving workplace complaints


We guide both employers and employees through contract negotiations, ensuring that terms are fair, mutually agreeable, and reflective of the parties’ expectations and rights.

Our legal team collaborates closely with employers to draft employment contracts that encapsulate compensation, benefits, and termination procedures. Each contract is crafted to align with the unique needs of the industry and the company.

For employees presented with job offers, understanding the terms and implications of an employment contract is crucial. Our lawyers provide thorough contract reviews, offering clear explanations of legal language, potential ramifications, and negotiation strategies.

Many employers today wish to treat their workers as contractors. This comes with risk for the business and the worker. It is important to understand whether a worker is truly an independent contractor. And, if so, to draft the agreement carefully to reflect the interests of both parties not to be in an employment relationship.

We understand the pivotal role of well-structured employment contracts in fostering harmonious and productive workplaces. Whether you are an employer seeking to establish transparent expectations or an employee preparing to embark on a new job journey, our mission is to provide expert guidance that transforms contracts into instruments of empowerment.

Compensation, Bonus plans, Commission Plans, Options

Compensation strategies, including bonus plans, commission structures, and stock options, play a pivotal role in attracting top talent and motivating employees. However, they must also adhere to employment laws and regulations. With a deep understanding of both legal intricacies and business dynamics, we are committed to providing comprehensive guidance to both employers and employees seeking to navigate the complexities of compensation.

Our legal team collaborates closely with employers to design compensation plans that reflect the company’s goals and industry best practices. From bonus structures that incentivize achievements to commission plans that drive sales excellence, we tailor solutions to meet your unique needs while avoiding legal pitfalls.

For employees presented with complex compensation structures, understanding the terms and implications is essential. Our legal team provides thorough reviews, clarifying the intricacies, potential benefits, and risks associated with these plans. We assist employees in negotiating compensation packages, ensuring their interests are protected while aligning with the company’s objectives.

Restrictive Covenants: Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, Confidentiality  

Restrictive covenants, such as non-compete agreements, non-solicitation clauses, and confidentiality provisions, are powerful tools that safeguard a company’s confidential information, client relationships, and trade secrets. However, they must be carefully constructed to be enforceable under the law while respecting an employee’s ability to pursue their career. Our firm takes a meticulous and strategic approach to strike the right balance between protection and fairness.

For employees presented with these clauses, understanding their implications is crucial. Employees wishing to exit a company must understand their obligations around protecting confidential information and whether or how they can approach company clients and employees.

Employee handbooks, Workplace policies 

Many workplace policies are mandatory for large and small employers. Policies help employees understand what is expected and required, and they provide a framework for employers to make consistent and transparent decisions. Different workplaces may require specific policies in order to suit their particular needs

Mandatory and optional policies may include: 

  • Workplace health and safety; 
  • Workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment; 
  • Discrimination and human rights protections;
  • Disconnecting from work;
  • Electronic monitoring.

Just as important as setting clear expectations for employees is taking appropriate steps to manage performance when those expectations are not met. Clearly communicating the required adjustment to performance or behaviour is key for employers who wish to address underperforming employees, or who may need to take steps towards termination. Drafting clear and legally correct performance reviews and warnings is important for employers who need to address employee performance.

For employees, responding to discipline carefully can set the stage for future steps taken by your employer. This is especially true for employees dealing with additional human rights concerns such as disability or family care obligations which may be affecting performance. Getting legal advice specific to your situation can help you to make a plan moving forward.

Mandatory and optional policies may include: 

  • Workplace health and safety; 
  • Workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment; 
  • Discrimination and human rights protections;
  • Disconnecting from work;
  • Electronic monitoring.

Wrongful Dismissal, Severance Packages, Constructive Dismissal, Exit Agreements

Businesses make changes, and this sometimes means parting ways with employees. Making sure that a strategic approach is taken to terminations can save employers significant time and money in the long run. The current legal landscape means that employers must ensure that termination letters and severance packages are drafted clearly and carefully to fully comply with employment standards and employee contracts. Failure to do so can attract additional damages to an employer. We work with employers to arrive at the best severance package or termination strategy for their business.

Employees who are terminated often have many questions about their rights. Employees who are terminated without cause are usually entitled to notice of termination, or payment in lieu of notice. This may be referred to as severance or a severance package. There are many factors that go into determining how much termination pay or severance an employee is entitled to, and in some cases, additional amounts may be owing to compensate for the actions of the employer. Each situation is unique, and an employment lawyer can help you understand what the best next steps are in your particular situation. 

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out minimum health and safety standards to protect workers against hazards on the job. It applies to almost every worker, supervisor, employer and workplace in Ontario.

OHSA sets out duties for all workplace parties and rights for workers to help establish policies and programs.

We work with employers and employees to ensure they understand their rights and obligations with respect to health and safety in the workplace.

Human Rights, Sexual assault and sexual harassment 

Employees have the right to be free from harassment, bullying, inappropriate and unwelcome actions and comments, sexual harassment, and discrimination. 

Our firm specializes in handling a diverse range of harassment and discrimination cases. This includes addressing rights and protections around:

  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Sex, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Family and marital status
  • Citizenship or National Origin

Discrimination can occur in different situations including the hiring/interview process, performance management, failure to accommodate, harassment, and termination of employment.

We provide an empathetic approach to understanding employer and employee needs in navigating these difficult topics. We assist employers in creating workplace culture and preparing policies and plans to prevent harassment and discrimination.  We assist employees in raising these concerns and asserting their rights while working.  We advise both parties in dealing with human rights claims after the employment relationship has ended.

We have extensive experience in litigating these cases both in the courts and human rights tribunals.

Simes Law represents employers and employees in all levels of courts and administrative tribunals to enforce their rights. As a Toronto Employment Lawyer and Barrie Employment Lawyer, Nicole Simes and her team have achieved success in numerous cases.

We ensure that throughout the litigation process, our clients will be educated and empowered to know their rights, know their obligations and know their options.

Webmaster contact form

Fill in the form below and we will be happy to help you

Alternatively, please email all details to [email protected].