Wrongful dismissal disputes are fairly common. In our experience they often resolve through negotiation and infrequently progress far into the litigation process. That said, sometimes cases of this nature do reach the court room and the parties usually fight over the quantum of severance sought, the type of payments claimed (i.e. bonus/commissions) and whether the former employee made reasonable efforts to find re-employment.
Most people understand that if they lose their job, they have a right to receive severance from their employer. Generally speaking, what reflects fair severance for a person will depend on a number of factors such as whether the individual has a written employment contract, their age, their tenure of service, their formal education and the availability of comparable jobs in the local market.
Dismissing an employee is not a pleasant experience. But whether you like it or not, this is one task that most businesses will encounter at some point. As President Trump reminded us again this week after reports surfaced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learned of his firing by way of a twitter post, there is both a right way and a wrong way to conduct employee terminations.
Vey Willetts LLP was recently successful in defeating a summary judgment brought by IBM Canada Limited. This decision, Amberber v. IBM Canada Limited, serves as an important reminder to employers of the need to draft contractual termination clauses with a high degree of clarity, or risk unanticipated liability in the event of a without cause dismissal.