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Court of Appeal for Ontario Says Employer's Financial Hardship Cannot Affect Reasonable Notice for Dismissal

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The recent decision of Michela v. St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School reaffirms that employers have an obligation to provide reasonable notice to employees, regardless of the employer's financial circumstances. This obligation is not reduced when the employer faces financial hardship and, as such, economic hardship is not relevant to calculating the length of the reasonable notice period.

The case was brought by a number of long-tenured teachers, who were notified of their termination at the end of a school year, due to apparent financial difficulties that the school was facing. The court affirmed that the length of a reasonable notice period is determined primarily by looking at employee-specific factors, such as length of employment, age, and the availability of similar employment, not the conditions of the employer.

For employees, this case signals that the courts will act to protect their long-term tenure with an employer, regardless of the economic circumstances, and therefore strengthens the much-needed protections afforded to employees. De Bousquet PC has a proven track record of fighting for the rights of employees. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, don't face your struggle alone - let us help you obtain the best results in your case.

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