Exec without contract not limited to standard termination notice: Court

Employer forgot to have new vice-president sign contract with termination clause
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/27/2011

An Ontario company that forgot to have an employee sign a standard employment contract cannot hold the employee to its standard termination notice, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Daniel Harvey, 44, was president of a food services company in Quebec when he was hired by Shoeless Joe’s to be its vice-president, operations. To take the job, Harvey had to relocate to Toronto, where the head office was located. Shoeless Joe’s gave him an offer of employment with a salary, car allowance, health benefits and annual bonus. The offer didn’t have any provisions for notice of termination, nor were any discussed.

Harvey began his new job on Feb. 2, 2009, without signing an employment contract. The company had a standard employment agreement for senior employees that contained a termination provision allowing the statutory minimum of notice, but it neglected to give it to Harvey. However, the company’s president was under the impression Harvey had signed such a contract.