Two recent court cases have discussed the implications of COVID-19 on reasonable notice periods for employees that are terminated without cause.
In Snider v Reotech Construction Ltd. (2021) the Court found that the employee was entitled to an extended reasonable notice period due to the pandemic.
The employee in the case was terminated without cause on March 19, 2021, after 28 months working for the employer. He subsequently tried to find new employment, but was unable to. The employee retrained and was still unable to find a new job.
The Court noted that the employee was entitled to four months of reasonable notice. However, the Court further added an additional two weeks of reasonable notice on the basis of COVID-19 and the lack of other similar employment available for the employee.
In a recent Ontario decision, Pavlov v The New Zealand and Australian Lamb Company Limited (2021 ), the Court looked at what reasonable notice period the employee was entitled to.
The employee was terminated in May 2020 after three years of employment with the Defendant employer.
In determining the appropriate reasonable notice period, the Court highlighted the fact that the employee was terminated at a time when COVID-19 created uncertainties and obstacles in the employee’s efforts to seek alternate employment. The Court further noted that the Defendant would have been aware of these challenges to re-employment.
The Court awarded the employee 10 months’ pay in lieu of notice.
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