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Dismissal and Employment Law Digest | Notice period

When an employer offered a job via email which did not have any termination clause, and the employee accepted it, an employment agreement with a clause limiting termination pay that was signed on his first day at work was found not to be enforceable, and the employee was entitled to seek the common law notice period

Dismissal and Employment Law Digest

By: Howard A. Levitt ; Editor: Stephanie Wiebe

Employer offered employee job after meeting to discuss job opportunity — Employee claimed that he had verbal agreement with employer where he would work as senior systems administrator at salary of $110,000 per year with four weeks vacation and three months probation — Employee claimed that verbal agreement was confirmed by written offer letter — Employee resigned from old job — Prior to starting work with employer, employee was presented with comprehensive employment agreement that contained provision that if he was terminated without cause his payment in lieu of notice would be severely limited — Employee felt he had no choice but to sign agreement — Employee worked for employer for nine months when he was terminated without cause as cost-cutting measure — Employee was paid what he was owed under agreement — Employee found another job 22 weeks later — Employee sought to set aside employment agreement and he sought damages for wrongful dismissal — Action allowed — Once employee received offer letter he had employment contract with employer — Letter was confirmation of verbal agreement parties had reached — Comprehensive employment agreement was not enforceable, as parties already had contract and no additional or new consideration was provided to employee with comprehensive agreement in order to vary existing agreement — Comprehensive employment agreement was set aside — Employee was not induced to leave his old job — Taking into account highly technical character of employment, length of service of nine months, employee's age of 34 and availability of similar employment with employee finding job after 22 weeks, notice period was fixed at four months — Employer had deleted employee's personal information from his mobile phone but it was reckless, not deliberate — There was no intrusion or invasion of employee's personal information — Employer's conduct in destroying employee's personal information was not so malicious and outrageous that it deserved punishment — Employee was not entitled to punitive damages. Buaron v. AcuityAds Inc. (2015), 258 A.C.W.S. (3d) 740, 2015 ONSC 5774, 2015 CarswellOnt 14902 (Ont.S.C.J.), additional reasons 2015 ONSC 6450, 2015 CarswellOnt 15795 (Ont. S.C.J.)

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