Fired older employee entitled to more than “bridge” to unreduced pension

concept of law and justice

The damages in lieu of notice owing to a wrongfully dismissed employee who worked for a company for 31 years was not limited by the Ontario Court of Appeal to the “bridge” or the number of weeks until he was eligible for unreduced early retirement.

When Matthew Arnone was 53 years old and earning $95,000/year he was fired by Best Theratronics Ltd.. His employment was terminated due to a restructuring and he was provided 14.4 weeks’ reasonable notice based on his minimum entitlement under the Canada Labour Code.

He commenced a wrongful dismissal action and moved for summary judgment.

In an order dated July 14, 2014, the motions judge ordered Best Theratronics to pay:

  1. Damages equal to the gross amount of the salary Arnone would have earned until he qualified for an unreduced pension (16.8 months) under the company’s defined benefit plan, less payments made to him to satisfy the statutory obligations of the employer.
  2. $65,000 representing the present value of the loss of an unreduced pension,
  3. A retirement allowance equal to 30 weeks’ pay, and
  4. Costs totaling $52,280.09.

Best Theratronics appealed, requesting that Arnone’s claim be dismissed. Arnone cross-appealed, requesting increased damages and costs from the company. The Court of Appeal allowed Arnone’s appeal and increased the amount of damages to 22 months.

However, the Court of Appeal also ruled that any income he earned during the 22 month period should be deducted from the award. There is no information in the case report as to how much he earned during thet 22 month notice period.

His claim for increased costs was sent back to the motions’ judge for disposition.

See: Arnone v. Best Theratronics Ltd., 2015 ONCA 63




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