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Employment: Termination with or without cause?

Musoni v. Logitek Technology Ltd., 2013 ONCA 622 (CanLII)

Wrongful dismissal action was brought by an Employee of Logitek Technology Ltd. alleging that despite Logitek's purported termination without cause (and with pay in lieu of notice), the termination was actually with cause, unjustified one at that, and therefore subject to wrongful dismissal claims & damages.

The parties had a written employment contract clearly stating that both parties may terminate the employment, without cause, with 15 days notice. Logitek terminated by written notice, with pay in lieu of the 15-day notice period.

Ontario Superior Court of Justice found:

  • Had the employment contract been terminated with cause, the Employee would not have been entitled to pay in lieu of notice;

  • Had the Employee been dismissed without cause, the Employee would only be entitled to the pay in lieu of notice as provided for in the Employment Contract and in the Ontario Employment Standards Act;

  • Either way, he would not have done better than what he actually received from Logitek;

and the action was dismissed at trial and on appeal.

Other note-worthy facts about this case:

  1. Though the Employee did not receive independent legal advice prior to signing the Employment Contract, Employer gave him ample time to review the Employment Contract. There was no indication that the Employee did not understand the Employment Contract.

  2. The action having been dismissed, costs were awarded to the Employer in the range of $5,000 at trial and $3,500 on appeal.

Full text of case can be found here: Ont.S.C. and Ont. C.A.

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