There is no shortage of cases which confirm the perils of
assuming that an employer's liability for reasonable notice of
termination will be capped at one month per year of employment.
In Rodgers v CEVA, 2014 ONSC 6583, a 55 year-old Country Manager
for an international freight and logistics company was dismissed
after less than 3 years of service. As Country Manager, the
plaintiff was responsible for the defendant's business
operations in Canada which included over 500 employees and revenues
in excess of $140 million annually. The employer provided him with
2 weeks' pay in lieu of notice (totaling approximately $11,000)
and severance pay in the amount of approximately $5,000.
The Court determined that the plaintiff was entitled to a notice
period of 14 months based on the following factors:
The plaintiff's position had
considerable responsibilities, and he was the most senior employee
There were limited opportunities for
The Plaintiff was 55 years old
The Plaintiff's entire career had
been in the trucking and logistics industry
The trucking and logistics industry
was in a downturn
The employer had induced the employee
to leave his previous employment
The plaintiff was required by the
employer to invest more than $100,000 in company shares at the time
he was hired, which the court concluded evinced an intention that
the Plaintiff would have a degree of job security beyond what is
In this case, the Plaintiff received more than 4 months per year
of service and total damages of $345,000 (more than 21 times the
amount of pay in lieu of notice originally provided by the
employer). The decision serves as a strong reminder to employers
that an employee's particular circumstances can significantly
increase the notice period beyond one month per year of
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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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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