Legal Affairs: Obligation for reasonable employee notice period

…courts will consider lengthy notice periods to be valid and enforceable for executive and senior employees.

Most employees are not aware of their obligation to give reasonable notice of their intention to leave their employment.

Absent of a clause to this effect in an employment contract, the notice must be reasonable.

What is reasonable?

Unfortunately, the courts establish what notice is reasonable depending on a number of factors.

A recent case considered the enforceability of contractual provisions requiring an executive employee of Blackberry to give six months notice of his intention to resign.

The court declared that the relatively long notice period by an employee (six months) is valid and enforceable.

Most often employment agreements only require notice periods in the range of two weeks to a month.

In the case the employee had agreed to provide six months notice of his resignation.

The employee received an offer from Apple and attempted to stop working for Blackberry and join Apple before the six-month notice period had expired.

The court upheld the six-month notice provision as valid and enforceable.

The case is remarkable in that employers rarely attempt to enforce notice provisions but instead sue for damages for breach.

Typically, damages are difficult to recover unless the employer can point to a loss of revenue or extra costs incurred by the early departure of the employee.

It is important to note that the court did not in the case order an injunction requiring the employee to work through the notice period.

It is generally accepted that the courts cannot compel an employee to perform services for an employer.

The important lesson from the case is that the courts will consider lengthy notice periods to be valid and enforceable for executive and senior employees.

We may see employers using longer notice periods to supplement restrictive covenants in employment agreements.

Restrictive covenants are contractual provisions which purport to prevent an employee from working in any competitive role with another employer.

Requiring an employee to give lengthier notice may be another way of restricting an employee’s ability to compete with his or her former employer.

 

Just Posted

Lake Country still investigating cause for water main break

Over 2,500 residences and businesses in Lake Country and Kelowna remain under boil water notice

Kelowna RCMP raid home on Lawson Avenue

RCMP, Emergency Response Team execute search warrant, one man arrested

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Developer breaks ground on downtown Kelowna rental housing project

Apartments at 726 Clement Ave. are projected to cost $1,300 per month or $1,780 per month

Registration open for motionball Kelowna

The 8th annual Special Olympics fundraiser will take place in Kelowna on Sept. 21

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Most Read