No implied right to or expectation of layoffs for Ontario employer

Layoffs had no precedent until 2 months previous
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

An Ontario company had no implied right to temporarily lay off its employees when there had been no previous layoffs and no mention of them in employment agreements, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Leang Chea and Peter Michalski were was hired as draftsmen by Fox Engineering — Chea in 1991, Michalski in 1997. In 2011, Fox merged with CIMA Canada and both employees continued to work for CIMA as lead engineering technicians and mechanical designers in Ottawa. The letter of employment with which they started with the company made no reference to the possibility of temporary layoffs.

In January 2013, CIMA temporarily laid off both Chea and Michalski. CIMA indicated the layoff would not last longer than 35 weeks, the maximum period allowable under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000, for temporary layoffs. They were recalled to work on June 24, 2013, after five months.