If followed, a recent Ontario case could result in the elimination of many specific penalty clauses in employment contracts. A specific penalty clause states that if an employee engages in a specific behaviour then the employee agrees s/he can be terminated for just cause without any notice or termination pay in lieu of this notice.
breach of contract
In Cordeau-Chatelain v Total E&P Canada Ltd (2021 ABQB 794) Justice Price has a situation where an employee who was awarded 18 months notice had reasonably retrained herself in a new career at a cost of about $18,000.
In Taylor v Hanley Hospitality (2021 ONSC 3135) released June 7, 2021, Ferguson J. ruled that Coutinho v Ocular Health Centre (20121 ONSC 3076) was wrongly decided and thus does not have to be followed. The Plaintiff was put on IDEL leave on March 27, 2020, then recalled and returned to work on September 3, 2020.