One disgruntled worker insisted his employment agreement was unclear but two courts have now ruled otherwise.
The Ontario Court of Appeal has upheld an employment clause despite claims its wording unclear and therefore unenforceable – here, a leading industry lawyer explains the background to the case and offers her advice to employers.
In a previous CCP blog (click here) we reviewed a trial decision argued on behalf of National Money Mart by one of our partners, Susan Crawford, where a provision in an employment agreement that limited entitlement to a non-discretionary bonus upon termination was found to be enforceable by the trial justice. The plaintiff in that case, Mr. Jonathon Kielb, not satisfied with the decision, appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The appellate court unanimously upheld Justice Akhtar’s decision in dismissing Mr. Kielb’s appeal and released its decision today. Click here for a copy of the Court of Appeal’s decision.
Mr. Kielb had argued at trial that the bonus limitation clause was unenforceable due to its ambiguous and contradictory nature and because it also contravened the Employment Standards Act, 2000. These arguments were rejected by Justice Akhtar who found the provision to be unambiguous in denying Mr. Kielb his fiscal 2009/2010 bonus payment of approximately $86,000.00. In upholding the trial judge’s decision, the Court of Appeal found that: