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exceptional circumstance

Wrongful Dismissal – 30 month Notice Period Upheld Due to Exceptional Circumstances

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Lynch v. Avaya Canada Corporation (decision dated October 23, 2023) listed the factors upholding the motion judge’s decision that the employee’s circumstances constituted “exceptional circumstances” thereby justifying an award for wrongful dismissal damages based on a 30 month notice period. 

Although the Court of Appeal held many years ago that there is no cap or upper limit on notice periods, generally, only where there are exceptional circumstances, will there be a base notice period exceeding 24 months.  Given a few of the factors that were identified here by the Court of Appeal to support a finding of exceptional circumstances, it has expanded the breadth of what may “constitute exceptional circumstances”.

This decision will result in more long-term employees seeking wrongful dismissal damages based on notice periods exceeding 24 months asserting their circumstances are “exceptional circumstances”.   

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