Can Employers Reduce Notice Periods for COVID-19 Reasons?

The Ontario Court of Appeal put it best in 2015 (Michela v St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic School, 2015 ONCA 801:

“An employer’s financial circumstances may well be the reason for terminating a contract of employment – the event that gives rise to the employee’s right to reasonable notice. But an employer’s financial circumstances are not relevant to the determination of reasonable notice in a particular case: they justify neither a reduction in the notice period in bad times nor an increase when times are good.”

Financial hardship of an employer does not necessarily reduce its obligation to provide adequate notice or pay in lieu to dismissed employees.

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