By Matt Lalande in Wrongful Dismissal on February 04, 2021
A Superior Court in Kelowna British Columbia recently awarded a 38-year-old network support specialist 13 months notice, plus anticipated bonus payments that the employee would have received during his 13 month severance period. You can read the full decision here – Koski v Terago Networks Inc.
The plaintiff, Brian James Oliver Koski, was an employee of the defendant, Terago Networks Inc. (“Terago”). He was a Customer Success Manager for Terago as of November 20, 2019, when Terago advised Mr. Koski of his without cause dismissal. At the time he was terminated, he was provided with $15,277.16 in compliance with the employer’s statutory obligation to provide severance pay. Mr. Koski sued his employer and sought to recover common law damages against Terago for breach of his employment contract.
Mr. Koski worked for Terago under the terms of an employment contract of indefinite duration with no termination clause. When dealing with employment contracts of this nature, the court will imply a provision requiring the employer to give the employee reasonable notice of his termination when there is no just cause to dismiss the employee.
Incoming to its decision, the court made an assessment of reasonable notice based on the often cited passage from the seminal case of Bardal v. Globe and Mail Ltd. (1960), 24 D.L.R. (2d) 140 at 145 (Ont. H.C.) lists factors to consider when determining reasonable notice:
There can be no catalogue laid down as to what is reasonable notice in particular classes of cases. The reasonableness of the notice must be decided with reference to each particular case, having regard to the character of the employment, the length of service of the servant, the age of the servant and the availability of similar employment, having regard to the experience, training and qualifications of the servant.
Judge Hori reviewed cases submitted by both the plaintiff employee lawyer and the defendant employer lawyer, and arrived at a decision to award 13 months notice. It was decided that Mr. Koski, as a 13-year employee of Terago, was the relatively young age of 38 when the termination occurred, so age was not a factor that warranted a longer notice period. It was also determined that a person of Mr. Koski’s age, with the background he has in network support and information technology services should have no exceptional impediments to finding alternate employment.
However, the Court did note that Mr. Koski’s job with Terago was his first regular employment after he completed his formal training. Therefore, his breadth of experience may not be as wide as others employed in his area of work. Also, Judge Hori found that his supervisory responsibilities supported a longer notice period.
In addition, the Court determined that had Mr. Koski continued to work during the period of notice, he would have earned bonuses as he had since 2017. The total damages for base salary and bonus to which Mr. Koski was entitled were calculated at $7,897.74 per month for 13 months. The total damages are $102,670.62 less severance paid.
If you’ve been terminated it’s important that you do not sign anything and contact our Hamilton Employment Lawyers today. Our consultations are free and without obligation. Call us today at 905-333-8888 or fill in a contact form and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
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*The above information was approved by Matt Lalande or another lawyer at Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers. The information comes from legal experience, trial experience and extensive legal research.