The Court’s reversal in this case, while favourable to employers, emphasizes the occasional unpredictability of the law in this area. It is prudent to periodically review your contractual termination provisions for new hires.
As an employee, by law, you are entitled to reasonable notice of termination of your employment. Employers however, often attempt to limit your legal entitlements by explicitly defining your rights upon termination in the employment contract. In the recent case of Singh v Qualified Metal Fabricators Ltd. an Ontario Court adopted an employee–friendly interpretation of these termination provisions, resolving the potential ambiguities in favour of the employee. While employers are allowed to contractually limit employees’ common–law reasonable notice requirements, they are required to do so with complete precision.
My Human Resources college professors used to ask students on a regular basis when it was OK for employers to terminate employees without cause. The answer, in theory, is that the employer can terminate an employee at any time! However...