Class action involving allegedly wrongfully terminated BlackBerry employees moves forward

The class includes more than 300 former employees, mostly based in Waterloo and Ottawa

Class action involving allegedly wrongfully terminated BlackBerry employees moves forward

The Ontario Superior Court approved a Notice of Certification of Class Proceeding, which involves more than 300 former BlackBerry employees, mostly based in Waterloo and Ottawa.

Plaintiff David Parker, advised by Nelligan O’Brien Payne LLP, initiated the class action against BlackBerry Ltd. back in 2017. He represents the class, which is in this case defined as “[a]ll persons in Canada who were employees and/or dependant contractors of BlackBerry Limited (‘BlackBerry’), who worked for BlackBerry in Canada and who were offered and accepted employment with the Ford Motor Company of Canada (‘Ford’) between January 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017, while excluding BlackBerry employees who filed a complaint pursuant to section 96 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 seeking termination pay and/or severance pay and did not withdraw that complaint within two weeks.”

Parker alleged that he was wrongfully terminated by BlackBerry when it permitted its business partner, Ford Motor Co. of Canada, to offer him new employment, without an offer of continued employment with BlackBerry. Reliefs sought include severance pay and aggravated and punitive damages. 

On the other hand, BlackBerry argued that the affected former employees made the individual decisions to leave BlackBerry and to accept Ford’s offers; thus, there was no wrongful termination.

“Class members will be automatically included in and bound by the class proceeding unless they opt out between January 15, 2020 and March 15, 2020,” said the news release from the firm, adding that the notice for the procedure to opt out would be provided by Jan. 15. 

More information about the class action may be found on the firm’s website.

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