An Ontario Superior Court Justice certified a class action on
behalf of 521 former employees of a call centre operated by the
defendants in Brigaitis v IQT Ltd., 2014 ONSC
7. The employees, dismissed en masse on July 15, 2011,
were told that they would get nothing further from the defendants
after that date. Specifically, the employees were advised
that they would not be receiving outstanding pay, vacation pay,
severance and termination pay or pay in lieu of notice.
The proposed plaintiffs alleged that
the call centre's closure was caused by the defendants'
diversion of monies for personal purposes before the closure.
The court identified 3 groups of claimants, based on their status
as claimants under s. 97 of the Ontario Employment Standards Act,
2000, and concluded that a class proceeding was the appropriate
method of advancing the claims of the class members on all but a
few of the issues. The court allowed claims of negligence,
conspiracy, inducing breach of contract and oppression under the Ontario Business Corporation Act to
proceed as class actions.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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