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Employment & Labour

Severance offers not accepted cannot be plead

By Barry B. Fisher

In this case, the judge found that it was inappropriate for the defendant to plead in their defence that they had “offered the plaintiff a reasonable settlement package.”

She offered two reasons for this:

1) The offer contained in the termination letter was intended to settle the matter and thus was without prejudice even though it did not say that it was without prejudice.

2) “What constitutes reasonable notice will be an issue for the trial judge to determine, what [the defendant] offered to [the plaintiff] is irrelevant.”

My comment:

If the defendant had actually paid the amount in the offer to the plaintiff, then the court would be able to judge whether the notice provided was reasonable. In my reading of thousands of wrongful dismissal cases, it seems that where the employer actually pays what they think reasonable notice is, the courts’ assessment of reasonable notice is lower than where the employer only pays the Employment Standards Act (ESA) minimums and then litigates over the amount of reasonable notice.

Read More at Barry Fisher’s Employment Law Blog

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