In a decision handed down by the Superior Court of Justice this week, our own Daniel Lublin and Simone Ostrowski were successful in a wrongful dismissal claim for substantial reasonable notice damages. The plaintiff, who was terminated without cause by Hudson’s Bay Company after 11.65 years of service, was awarded 16 months of reasonable notice. This included damages for his base salary, annual incentive plan (bonus), benefits, and pension contributions, amounting to over $255,000.

COVID-19 will justify longer reasonable notice periods

The main takeaway from this recent case of Yee v Hudson’s Bay Company, however, is the commentary on the impacts of COVID-19 on reasonable notice periods. The Court confirmed that the depressed state of the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will justify a longer notice period. The Court also clarified that terminations that occurred before the COVID-19 pandemic will not attract the same consideration as terminations that occurred after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a major win for employees that have been terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to find comparable employment. This consideration of the reduced ability to find comparable employment amid the global pandemic may help terminated employees fight for a longer notice period and stay afloat as they transition from one job into the next during these difficult times. Employees should speak with a lawyer to determine if they are entitled to severance or wrongful dismissal damages, and whether a termination package offered by their employer is reasonable in light of the impacts of COVID-19 and other considerations.

Download the copy of the decision in Yee v Hudson’s Bay Company:

 

If your employment has been terminated, we at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you would like to better understand your workplace rights or explore the viability of a claim during these unprecedented times, we encourage employees and employers to seek legal advice. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

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