Termination provisions violated legislative requirements

Ontario civil | Employment

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS

Termination provisions violated legislative requirements

Motion by employee for partial summary judgment relating to unenforceability of termination provisions in employment contract. Employee commenced employment as associate golf professional at employer’s golf club in May 2007. Employee became head golf professional in January 2008. Employment contract contained termination provisions that included payment in lieu of notice for termination without cause. Employer terminated employee without cause in October 2010. Employer paid plaintiff three weeks’ pay in lieu of notice plus other payments. Application granted. Termination provisions were unenforceable so employee was entitled to reasonable notice in accordance with common law principles. Termination provisions were unenforceable due to violation of legislative requirements concerning provision of benefits upon termination. Termination provisions provided for termination of benefits prior to end of notice period contrary to s. 61(1) of Employment Standards Act, 2000 (Ont.). Termination provisions were therefore null and void pursuant to s. 5(1) of Act. Fact that termination provisions referred to “Employment Standards Act of Ontario” without more specific citation would not have rendered them unenforceable.
Stevens v. Sifton Properties Ltd. (Oct. 9, 2012, Ont. S.C.J., I.F. Leach J., File No. SR 3774-11) 225 A.C.W.S. (3d) 127.

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