In Wilste v Saestar Chemicals ( 2020 BCSC 658) Saunders J. determined that an employee fired without cause in July of 2018 was entitled to 16 months notice. About 1/3 of his total comp was pursuant to a bonus plan which had a clause which said that in order to be entitled to a bonus payment, the employee had to be employed as of March 31st, the end of the fiscal year.
Almost all employers require new employees to sign an employment contract. And almost all employment contracts have a termination clause. And most of the termination clauses have a provision which states that the employer has the right to terminate an employee for just cause without notice. This case suggests most of these termination clauses are not enforceable.
I had a client recently ask why he would bother going through the cost and efforts of doing up an employment contract, if he was going to have to fight with ex–employees’ lawyers and pay out a package in a without cause situation anyway. Good question.