Severance Offers Not Accepted Cannot Be Plead:

In Ramos v Hewlett-Packard ( Canada ) ( 2017 ONSC 4413 Justice Ryan Bell found that it was inappropriate for the Defendant to plead in their Defence that they had ” offered the plaintiff a reasonable settlement package”.

She offered two reasons for this :

1) The offer contained in the termination letter was intended to settle the matter and thus was without prejudice even though it did not say that it was without prejudice.

2) ” What constitutes reasonable notice will be an issue for the trial judge to determine, what Hewlett- Packard offered to Ms Ramos is irrelevant.

My Comment:

If the Defendant had actually paid the amount in the offer to the Plaintiff, then the Court would be able to judge whether the notice provided was reasonable. In my reading of thousands of wrongful dismissal cases , it seem that where the employer actually pays what they think reasonable notice is, the Courts’ assessment of reasonable notice is lower than where the employer only pays the ESA minimums and then litigates over the amount of reasonable notice.