Multinational company gets stinging message

Ontario courts will protect Ontario workers — a cautionary tale for multinational corporations
By Neena Gupta
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Geotel Communications (now Cisco Systems Inc.) defended a wrongful dismissal suit brought by Carlyle Buchanan, a former district sales manager. The decision of Justice Ferguson reviewed a number of issues, including the assessment of damages.

In part one of this article (published on page 3013 of issue #386), CELT reviewed the court’s award of compensation in lieu of notice and additional notice awarded because of misconduct during the hiring and firing process. The case is also important because it reviews the legal implications of employment-related documents that refer to the laws of a different country.

As a senior employee of Geotel, Buchanan participated in the company’s employee stock option plan. The plan was governed by the laws of the U.S. state of Delaware. The plan stipulated, upon termination, the employee could only exercise stock options which had accrued as of the date the employee ceased to be an employee of the company.