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HOW IS “REASONABLE NOTICE” DETERMINED?
Ontario Employment Law: Employment Agreements, Termination Clauses and Reasonable Notice
Ontario employment agreements often attempt to limit the amount of notice, or pay in lieu of notice, to be provided to dismissed employees upon termination of employment.
Typically, such employment contracts are drafted by employers, and attempt to limit departing employees to only the statutory minimum notice period and severance payments required under the Employment Standards Act.
They don’t always succeed in doing so.
Upon a termination, it is necessary to determine at the outset whether any such employment agreement is applicable, and if it will be enforceable under Ontario employment law.
Employment agreements are not always legally enforceable. This is particularly the case with respect to employment agreements that fail to strictly comply with the minimum requirements of the Ontario Employment Standards Act.
Courts may also refuse to enforce agreements that are vague or unclear, or employment agreements which are entered into after employment has already commenced, upon the employer’s insistence.
Employment agreements that purport to limit severance entitlements may also be challenged following termination on the basis of unconscionability, or because they have become outdated due to position changes or promotions subsequent to the agreement.
Where an employment agreement includes any provision that purports to limit the employee’s notice or severance entitlements upon termination, it is essential to obtain immediate advice from a qualified wrongful dismissal lawyer.