One-Month-Per-Year Formula Applied, And No Cap On Termination Notice Periods: Ontario Court


A judge rejects the one-month-per-year rule of thumb for calculating termination notice periods, but then applies it. The employee’s lawyer is prepared to concede that notice periods should be capped at 24 months, but the court rejects that. What are employers to expect anymore?

In Abrahim et al. v. Sliwin et al., a group of 34 employees brought a motion for judgment against their former employer claiming damages for wrongful dismissal. At the time of their dismissal, the employees were working in unskilled jobs. They held no supervisory responsibilities and were paid a relatively low wage. In light of these shared characteristics, the employees’ lawyer proposed that the Court adopt a uniform formula of one month per year in assessing the employees’ termination notice period and therefore damages for wrongful dismissal, to a maximum of 24 months.

In rejecting as a “rule” — but then applying in the case at hand — the employees’ proposed approach to calculating reasonable notice, the Court made two important rulings.

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