COVID Seems to Lengthen Notice Period:

In Pavlov v. The New Zealand and Australian Lamb Company Limited,
(2021 ONSC 7362) Justice Stewart determined that the proper notice period for a 47 year old Director of Marketing and Communication with just under 3 years service was 10 months. He was terminated on May 20, 2020, a few months into the pandemic.

In considering the Bardal Factor of availability of alternative employment, the Court said :

[16] At the time of Pavlov’s dismissal, the initial effects of the global pandemic were being experienced by industries of all sorts, including those associated with international importing and distribution. It is a reasonable inference to draw from the evidence and the timing of the dismissal that the effects and uncertainties of the pandemic were obstacles to Pavlov’s efforts to obtain alternate employment. These obstacles would, or should, have been known to NZAL Co. at the time of Pavlov’s dismissal.

[19] Although Pavlov had been employed for a comparatively short time his position, duties, responsibility, age and level of remuneration entitled him to a period of notice greater than that suggested
on behalf of NZAL Co. and one which must be determined with reference to the prevailing economic uncertainties which had a negative impact on Pavlov’s ability to secure similar alternative employment.

Justice Stewart also did something unique about the yet undetermined 2021 bonus entitlement. She ruled :

If any bonus was paid to other employees related to the time frame in late 2020 or 2021 over which the applicable notice period is operative, Pavlov is entitled to such payment on pro rata basis.

[25] If there is any dispute as to the calculation of such bonus component of Pavlov’s damages, this may be the subject of written submissions by the parties or I may be spoken to in that regard.

Plaintiff counsel was my brilliant eldest son, Matthew Fisher of Lecker & Associates. ( My other two lawyer sons are also brilliant )

On December 6, 2021 the Defendant filed an appeal claiming that the trial judge erred in awarding 10 months notice.

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