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High Tech

65 year old employee with 40 years service awarded 20 months notice; pension payments not deducted

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech

In Waterman v. IBM Canada Limited, 2010 BCSC 376, a 65 year old employee with 40 years of service was awarded a 20 month notice period. At the time of dismissal, the employee had had no plans to retire.

In reaching its decision, the BC Supreme Court addressed the following issues of interest:

  1. the impact of the character of employment on the notice period;
  2. the impact of health problems on the notice period;
  3. compensation for lost stock purchases over the notice period; and
  4. whether pension benefits received over the notice period should be deducted from the damages award.

Character of Employment
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BC Appeal Court reviews law on notice period for short service employees and rights under stock option plans

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech

In Saalfeld v. Absolute Software Corporation, 2009 BCCA 18, the BC Court of Appeal addressed:

  1. the notice period owed to a short service employee; and
  2. an employee's entitlment to stock options during the notice period.

Notice Period

The employee's employment was terminated without cause after approximately nine months of service. She had held a senior software sales position, was 35 years old and earned a base salary of $60,000 with target earnings of $100,000 inclusive of commissions.

The BC Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge's award of a five month notice period, finding that it was not unreasonable given that it took the employee nine months to secure new employment.

However, in a statement that will bring comfort to employers, Madam Justice Huddart  also stated that:  read more »

Are employees entitled to working notice and severance based on employer's previous assurances?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech

In Ciric v. Raytheon Canada Limited, 2008 BCCA 241, the plaintiff (respondent) had worked for Raytheon for 10 years as a software engineer.

In September 2005, the plaintiff was provided with notice that her employment would be terminated on June 10, 2006. She was told that because the employer had calculated her notice entitlement at 9.4 months, she would, at the time her employment ended, be paid for one additional month if she signed a release.

In May 2006, the plaintiff filed a claim for severance on the basis of assurances provided by the company (both orally and in writing) in January 2004, at a time when it was downsizing at the facility where the she worked.

Specifically, anxious to placate the concerns of its key employees at a time of uncertainty, the company had told them that its practice of paying, at minimum, one month's salary for each year of service would continue to apply to any employees who were laid off in the future (the "Severance Pay Policy").  read more »

Can an employee sue both the vendor and the purchaser of a business for wrongful dismissal?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech - Manufacturing

In a recent case the B.C. Court of Appeal confirmed that an employee can sue both the Vendor and Purchaser of a business for wrongful dismissal where he/she has been dismissed after the sale of the business. Specifically, the law is:  read more »

"Common Employment Pitfalls Facing Technology Companies"

David Little, a lawyer at Fraser Milner Cagrain, has written a newsletter article entitled, "Common Employment Pitfalls Facing Technology Companies" (October 2003).

"Ensuring Corporate Security In An Age of High Worker Mobilty: What You Need to Know"

Sector: - High Tech

Anneli LeGault, a lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain in Ontario, has written a paper on, "Ensuring Corporate Security in an Age of High Worker Mobilty: What You Need to Know".

The paper was prepared for the Canadian Institute Conference - Employment in the Information Age, which was held on January 29-30, 2001. It covers the following topics:

  • Managing Proprietary Information
  • Internet Use; Monitoring Employees
  • The Prevalence of Surveillance 
  • Is There a Right of Privacy? 
  • Dismissal of Non-Union Staff 
  • Discipline in the Unionized Context 
  • Contents of an Internet Usage Policy
  • E-Mail Policies