In the recent legal decision of John Lynch versus Avaya Canada Corporation, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a significant decision where the plaintiff, John Lynch, was awarded a 30-month notice period for wrongful dismissal, which notably exceeds the traditional cap of 24 months. This extension of the notice period is a focal point of the case, highlighting the court’s recognition of exceptional circumstances that warranted a longer notice period than is typically granted.
The Employer‘s Arguments During Appeal
Avaya, the appellant, contested the motion judge’s ruling on three fronts:
Conversely, Lynch, the respondent, maintained that the notice period was justified due to his unique employment circumstances.
Exceptional Circumstances Justifying 30-Month Notice:
The motion judge’s decision to award a 30-month notice period was based on a comprehensive evaluation of Lynch’s unique employment situation. The Court of Appeal scrutinized Avaya’s challenge to this award and provided a detailed rationale for maintaining the extended notice period:
Court’s Stance on Traditional Notice Cap:
The Court of Appeal’s decision reinforces the notion that while there is generally a 24-month cap on notice periods, this is not absolute. Exceptional circumstances, particularly when considering the character of employment, length of service, age of the employee, and availability of similar employment, can justify exceeding this cap.
The Court of Appeal’s dismissal of Avaya’s appeal confirms the motion judge’s findings and underscores the court’s willingness to consider the specific and individual circumstances of a case when determining the appropriate notice period for wrongful dismissal. The decision to uphold a 30-month notice period in this case sets a precedent for recognizing the nuances in employment cases that may demand deviation from the standard practice.
This summary emphasizes the court’s rationale behind granting a notice period beyond the standard 24 months, highlighting the exceptional circumstances that can influence such a decision in employment law.
If you’ve been terminated, it’s important that you seel the advice of a qualified employment lawyer today. Do not sign anything and do not try to negotiate a severance package on your own. Do accept what your employer wanted to pay you – get the severance you are owed.
Please call us today no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the throughout Southern Ontario at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can fill in a contact form through our website. We would be happy to speak to you about your termination and inform you or your legal rights and options.