Workers that have been laid off from their position under a fixed term contract of employment before the end date of the contract may be unaware of their rights and entitlements to recover damages or unpaid wages from their former employer.

Layoffs related to business reasons are “incompatible with fixed term hiring” and generally cannot be relied upon by an employer to terminate a fixed term contract without appropriate compensation. It is unknown how the current COVID-19 related restrictions might be interpreted by the Court given the circumstances.

Each situation is unique, but it is important to review the early termination clause of the employment contract. If the early termination clause is valid and enforceable than the terms in those clauses will apply. Early Termination clauses may be invalid or unenforceable if they do not clearly specify a period of notice. It is recommended that employees consult with a lawyer regarding the validity of the termination clauses in their employment agreements.

If the employment contract does not contain a termination clause, or if the termination clause is illegal and/or unenforceable, a worker may be able to recover lost wages for the term remaining on their contract.

If you have been laid off and have questions related to topics covered in this post, please contact me or one of the other members of our employment law group.

Stanford Cummings

Associate – Employment, Personal Injury and Litigation Law Groups

Disclaimer: This article is provided as an information resource. This article should not be relied upon to make decisions and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship. Please note that this information is current only to the date of posting. The law is constantly changing and always evolving.


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