Check Your Employment Contracts: Leave to Appeal Denied in Waksdale

Discipline and Dismissals | Hiring and Contracts
Home » Blog » Hiring and Contracts » Check Your Employment Contracts: Leave to Appeal Denied in Waksdale

Recently, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal in Waksdale v Swegon North America Inc (Waksdale), which means that the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision remains the law in Ontario. This decision is critical because it renders the majority of termination clauses in employment contracts unenforceable, leaving employers exposed to significant liability under the common law.

The Ontario Court of Appeal held that a termination clause must be looked at in its entirety, and thus, despite the fact that the termination was without cause and the without cause provision standing alone was fine, the “for cause” provision invalidated the entire termination clause as it breached the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). As a result, the employee was entitled to common law reasonable notice, and significantly more compensation. We wrote about this decision here, here and here

So what does this mean for you?

If you are an employer and you have not had your employment contracts checked recently, you should get them reviewed by an Employment Lawyer. The termination clauses in your existing contracts may not be binding, which can expose you to significant liability under the common law (for example, you might think your obligation is to pay 8 weeks of pay only to realize it is 24 months of pay instead). If you are an employee and your employer provides you with a new agreement or a termination letter, you should seek legal advice before accepting anything, as it can substantially impact your entitlements. 

Other Blogs

Stuart and others on the team at Rudner Law are frequent contributors to the following sites: 

First Reference Employment Law Resources
Canadian HR Reporter Blog
Rudner Employment Lawyer in the Lawyer's Daily
Legal Matters Employment Law Canada

Fire Away with Stuart Rudner

Fire Away! The Employment Law Show

Rudner Law hosts a monthly Q&A show streamed live on Facebook and to Youtube.

Rudner Law's Employment Law Newsletter

Join our Email List

Stay Up To Date. Subscribe To Our Newsletter.