The Ontario Superior Court recently allowed an employee to proceed with claims against his former employer regarding long-term disability insurance, even though he had signed a release in exchange for a severance package when his employment ended.
It’s one of those pension administration nightmares – someone of pensionable age shows up at your door claiming he was an employee 20 years ago and asks for his pension. There is some evidence of employment, but no record of a pension entitlement. As a fiduciary you cannot pay out benefits unless someone is clearly entitled, so you ask the person for some proof of the pension entitlement. At this point the person may give up; but your sense of relief is overshadowed by concerns that your record keeping did not allow you to be as certain as you might have been in disposing of the claim. On the other hand, if he doesn't give up, it will likely be an even more costly, time-consuming and frustrating exercise.
If an employee negotiates a termination package with an employer but does not sign a release, can they successfully claim additional pay in lieu of notice in a court action? Interestingly, the Ontario Superior Court recently held that the answer for one employee in these circumstances was “no”.