Canadian Employment Law Today

October 12, 2016

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian October 12, 2016 New job didn't start with inquiry about employee's interest: Court THE ONTARIO Superior Court of Justice has upheld an employment contract after a dismissed worker challenged it by saying the contract came after he had started the new position. Michael Gibbons, 36, was a technical events specialist for BB Blanc, a Toronto- based company providing event manage- ment, audiovisual and entertainment ser- vices. BB Blanc hired Gibbons in May 2011 and one year later asked him if he would be interested in a promotion to the position of assistant manager, operations and technical events, that would include an increase in his salary. Gibbons indicated that he was interested in the promotion and the company drew up a new employment contract for the posi- tion, giving it to Gibbons on May 30, 2012. e contract included a termination clause that stated if Gibbons was terminated with- out cause he would receive working notice or pay in lieu of notice "in accordance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000." e clause included a chart showing the number of years of service with the corresponding notice period required. Gibbons signed the contract on June 4, 2012. On March 19, 2013, BB Blanc informed Gibbons that his employment was being terminated eff ective immediately. e com- pany told him that his termination was due to a corporate restructuring and provided him with two weeks' pay in lieu of notice up to April 2. Gibbons sued for wrongful dismissal, ar- guing that the employment contract and its termination clause weren't enforceable be- cause the contract was signed after he had already accepted the promotion to the new position and it didn't include new consider- ation for him agreeing to it. e court found that the conversation between Gibbons and BB Blanc about the promotion wasn't an actual job off er, but Ambiguous termination clause doesn't exclude common law notice Clause stated notice would be 'in accordance' with legislation but didn't limit it to only the minimum BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A TERMINATION provision in an employment contract can allow for a notice entitlement in line with employment standards minimums, but the language must be clear in order to circumvent common law reasonable notice entitlements, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled. Robert Bellini, 63, was a senior mechanical en- gineer for PROJEX Technologies, an engineering fi rm in Halifax. He joined PROJEX on April 12, 2012. In July 2013, PROJEX was purchased by an- other company, Ausenco Engineering. Once Ausenco gained control, it gave Bellini a new employment contract with a termination clause. e clause stated that "if it becomes necessary for us to terminate your employment for any reason other than cause, your entitlement to advance working notice or pay in lieu of such notice, will Refusal to accept employment offer not a failure to mitigate pg. 3 Timing of new offer can determine whether acceptance is required CREDIT: PIOTR_PABIJAN/SHUTTERSTOCK Weed in the workplace: An employer's road map pg. 4 GPS for the new terrain ahead as marijuana legalization approaches ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Changes to longstanding recognition program PROMOTION on page 7 » CLAUSE on page 6 » with Tim Mitchell

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