In Felice v. Cardinal Health Canada Inc.,
2014 ONSC 1190, a senior executive was awarded damages of 12
months' salary and benefits after a total of only 19
months' employment with the hiring company and its successor.
He was initially hired under an employment contract that entitled
him to 12 months' salary upon termination without cause.
When the company was taken over, he
signed a new employment agreement that was silent on
severance. At the time of his termination without cause, the
employee occupied a senior management position and was 52 years of
age. He remained unemployed 14 months after the termination.
The trial judge held that the new
contract replaced, and did not amend, the original agreement,
limiting the employee to reasonable notice of termination. However
reasonable notice was the same as that provided for in the original
contract having regard to the factors relevant to making that
determination. The employee was entitled to 12 months' pay in
lieu of notice.
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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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