Ont.’s top court affirms COVID-19 pandemic will impact reasonable notice periods for terminations

Matthew A. Fisher - Employment Lawyer Toronto

The Court of Appeal for Ontario recently confirmed that when considering the bleak economic environment, a short-term employee must receive a relatively long notice when terminated without cause at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court dismissed the appeal brought by The New Zealand and Australian Lamb Company Limited, a grass-fed, free-range lamb producer, which had terminated their director of marketing communications and public relations on May 29, 2020. Pylyp Pavlov had worked for the company for just under three years, and the trial judge awarded him 10 months’ notice.

The ruling “adds another brick to the wall of cases of short-term senior employees receiving healthy notice periods,” says Matthew Fisher, who acted for Pavlolv and is an employment lawyer and partner at Lecker & Associates in Toronto. It strengthens the caselaw, growing since courts began hearing pandemic cases, that COVID will impact reasonable notice periods, and the court will take judicial notice of that impact, he says.

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