Prior Service to Bankrupt Employer Considered in Notice Period:

In Chin v Beauty Express Canada Inc., 2022 ONSC 6178 Justice Morgan had a situation where the Plaintiff, a 69 year old aesthetician , worked first for 14 years for Company A , which then went bankrupt, and then 6 years for the Defendant. She worked inside a Bay store so after the change in employer her bosses and her work location stayed the same.

When deciding the length of service upon which to assess notice the two choices proposed by the parties was 20 years or 6 years. The Judge rejected both of those choices and instead examined what advantage the Defendant had when it hired the Plaintiff who already had 14 years experience on the job. The judge concluded that given the limited skill set involved in the job, she should only get one half of the notice that she would have got if she had been a 20 year employee. He thus awarded the Plaintiff 10 months notice.

My Comments:

The important thing to realize about this case is that the break in service was due to a bankruptcy and not a sale of either shares or assets . Therefore the law is clear that the bankruptcy ended her employment with Company A and that the Defendant was not a successor employer, either under the common law or the ESA.
However, in this situation the Judge was still prepared to give consideration to the fact that the Defendant in effect inherited an experienced employee and thus saved the time and expense of training a new employee.

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