Fired? You May be Owed More Thanks to The Supreme Court
With these uncertain economic times, many employees are being fired from their employment. If you have been fired, your employer may be trying to limit what they pay you after termination based on an employment contract that you previously signed.
However, the Ontario Court of Appeal and now the Supreme Court of Canada have made it much easier for you to get more pay-in-lieu of notice from your employer.
In 2020, I wrote about the Waksdale v Swegon North America Inc. decision and how it affects fired employees in this blog. This significant decision has made it possible for many employees in Ontario to make a legal argument that the termination clause in their contract is not enforceable. Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed an appeal request about this case. That means that the Waksdale case is the law in Ontario and may be for some time.
Why is Waksdale important if you were fired?
Typically, an employment contract’s termination clause will try to limit an employee to receiving only the bare minimum amounts of termination or severance pay under the Employment Standards Act (ESA). If a fired employee can prove that they do not have an enforceable termination clause, what they are owed from their employer would be based on the common law – judges’ decisions.
Unlike the minimum statutory rights under the ESA, the common law often provides for more significant pay-in-lieu of notice. In some cases, it is as much as a month per year of service worked or more.
This means that now more than ever it is crucial for fired employees to get legal advice after a termination. The difference between what an employer thinks it owes you and your rights at common law could be significant.
If you have been fired and your employer is relying on your employment contract to limit how much they pay you, you should consult a lawyer. You can contact Barrie and Toronto Employment Lawyer Nicole Simes at MacLeod Law Firm via firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-204-8107.