In Waksdale v Swegon North America ( 2019 ONSC 5705) Morgan J. had a situation where the employment agreement had two separate termination clauses; one for just cause terminations which violated the Employment Standards Act and one for without cause terminations which did not violate the ESA.
There was also a severability clause applicable to the entire contract.
The plaintiff was terminated without cause and paid out in accordance with the contract. The Plaintiff argued that the illegality of the just cause clause made the entire termination provision, including the without just cause part, illegal and unenforceable.
The Judge said no, the clauses were distinct and only the just cause clause was void and since the defendant was not relying on that clause, its illegality was irrelevant.
I am advised by Plaintiff’s counsel that they will be appealing.