I recommend that all organizations have their employment contract reviewed by an employment lawyer every year or two. As a result of a recent decision, I suggest that you do so immediately.
In June 2020 I wrote a blog on the Waksdale case. To read it, click here.
In Waksdale, the Ontario Court of Appeal concluded that a judge should not enforce a termination provision that is in whole or in part illegal.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal of this decision.
If the termination clause in your standard employment contract states that your organization has the right to terminate an employee’s employment for just cause without notice of termination (or pay in lieu of notice) then I suggest you have your employment lawyer immediately review your termination clause to determine whether it needs to be amended. It may be unenforceable and if so, then you may be required to provide employees with common law reasonable notice of termination, which may be considerably more than the amount you think you owe the employee.
For over 30 years, Doug MacLeod has been advising and representing employers in connection with employee terminations. If you have any questions, please contact him at 416-317-9894 or at [email protected]