There continues to be a seemingly never-ending stream of cases which confirm the perils of assuming that an employer’s liability for reasonable notice of termination will be capped at one month per year of employment.
In Sciancamerli v Comtech (Communication Technologies) Ltd., 2014 BCSC 2140, a Senior Account Executive was dismissed after just 10 months of employment and provided 1 week of pay-in-lieu of notice. The employee filed a wrongful dismissal action and claimed that he was entitled to 5-6 months’ notice. The employer asserted that the employee’s entitlement was between 2.5 weeks to 2 months.
The Court considered the following factors in setting the notice period:
The Court concluded based on a review of analogous cases that a short-term employee in a similar position to the plaintiff is typically entitled to between two and three months’ notice. However, the Court found that the plaintiff was entitled to a longer notice period because of the specialization required for his position and the lack of availability of similar employment. The Court awarded the plaintiff 5 months’ notice (half of his entire period of employment).
This case again reminds employers that the determination of the reasonable notice period is highly contextual and estimating the notice period based on one month per year of service is often inaccurate.
Beware of the One Month Per Year of Service “Rule”: Part 4
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