Employees cannot be wilfully blind to the terms of their incentive plan

|Canadian Employment Law Today

Portanova v. Sun Life Financial and Ministry of Labour, 2003 CarswellOnt 2978 (Ont. L.R.B.)

Angelo Portanova’s last day on the job at Sun Life was Feb. 6, 2001. When he resigned, he assumed he would be receiving money from the company’s incentive compensation plan — up to eight per cent of his $68,000 salary.

But Sun Life specifies employees must be with the company at the time of the payout — normally the end of February. In November 2000 Sun Life sent employees an e-mail which said the payout date for the incentive plan was being moved to the end of March. Portanova said he didn’t read that e-mail. He also didn’t look at the company’s intranet, which had plan details. He said his entitlement crystallized on Dec. 31, 2000, and was payable in February 2001.