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notice of dismissal

Termination clauses – The legal debate

It appears that the saga of judicial interpretation and consideration of termination clauses will continue, with predictably unpredictable results. Courts will enforce termination clauses that limit an individual’s entitlement to notice of dismissal, but the onus will be on the employer to show that the clause should be enforced.

 

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Considering the economic circumstance of employer when deciding notice of dismissal

scale money

The impact of the employer’s financial condition at the time of termination on the notice period has been the subject of some debate. In 1983, the Ontario Court of Appeal held, in Bohemier v. Storwal International Inc., that the financial circumstances of the employer are a factor that can be considered in the assessment of the notice period. Some courts have explicitly rejected the notion, however…

 

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Misconceptions of a probationary period can expose employer to liability

Most people assume that they know what a probationary period is and how it works in Canada. Unfortunately, however, there are many misconceptions with respect to the law in this regard, and many employers unknowingly expose themselves to significant liability when they hire new employees.

 

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Notice of dismissal must be clear, specific, and unequivocal

Two recent cases have confirmed a long-standing principle: in order to be effective, notice of dismissal must be clear, specific and unequivocal. Among other things, a definite terminate date must be specified. Otherwise, in most cases, the “notice” will not be effective, and the employer will be on the hook for additional notice or pay in lieu thereof.

 

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How do you count length of service/seniority in relation to employee leaves of absence?

There is significant confusion regarding how periods of leave are to be treated when entitlements are based upon length of service; this included the amount of notice of dismissal that may be required…

 

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Failure to continue disability coverage during the notice period

Last year, I reminded employers of the danger of failing to continue disability benefits after dismissing an employee and providing pay in lieu of notice. An important case has now passed through the Ontario Court of Appeal…

 

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The fine art of determining notice for dismissal: ‘old habits die hard’

Probably the most prevalent misconception in the area of employment law is the notion that all employees are entitled to “one month per year” as notice of termination without cause. This has, in the past, been referred to as the golden rule. In spite of repeated judicial pronouncements that the rule no longer applies, human resources professionals continue to apply it.

 

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Widespread confusion on how courts determine the amount of notice of dismissal

As I and others have frequently commented, there is widespread confusion and misunderstanding regarding how our courts determine the amount of notice of dismissal (sometimes referred to as “severance”) an employee is entitled to. The recent decision of the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench in Coppola v. Capital Pontiac Buick Cadillac GMC Ltd. provides a fairly thorough analysis.

 

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LTD claims by dismissed employees

Employers that dismiss employees without cause, and without ensuring that they take steps to preclude all potential claims, can face significant liability beyond the “typical” wrongful dismissal damages. The recent decision of Mr. Justice Echlin of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Brito v. Canac Kitchens is an example of the type of situation employer’s dread. In that case…

 

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