What happens when employers terminate employees and try to rely on unclear written employment contracts? That was the question in Andros v Colliers where our employee client was terminated on the basis of a written employment contract with a questionable termination clause that attempted to severely limit his severance package. The firm won at the Ontario Superior Court and the employer appealed. Andrew Pinto and Jonas Granofsky argued before the Court of Appeal for Ontario that the clause was so poorly drafted that it violated the Employment Standards Act and was unenforceable and that the more generous provisions of the common law based on precedent should apply. We also argued that our client was entitled to his proper bonus and reimbursement for his benefits after he stopped actively working. The Court of Appeal agreed with all our arguments and provided much-needed clarity on the enforceability of termination clauses in employment agreements, entitlement to bonus compensation and reimbursement for benefits over the reasonable notice period. The take away for employees and employers is that employment agreements should be drafted with clarity so that the parties can clearly understand at the beginning of the employment relationship what their obligations are at the end. Guidance from experienced employment counsel can make a significant difference.
The August 2019 court decision can be found at the following link: http://canlii.ca/t/j26rw