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Digest of the Week | Probationary Employees

Employee was terminated without cause after less than six months' employment; employee was bound by six-month probation clause


Van Wyngaarden v. Thumper Massager Inc. | 2018 ONSC 6622 | Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court)


Labour and employment law --- Employment law — Termination and dismissal — Termination of employment by employer — What constituting just cause — Probationary employees


Employee was terminated without cause after less than six months' employment — Employee brought action against employer for damages for wrongful dismissal — Summary judgment was granted to employer and employee's action was dismissed — Employee appealed — Appeal dismissed — There was no error in motion judge's conclusion that offer set out terms of employment contract between parties and that employee was bound by six-month probation clause — Motion judge held that employee was bound by probation clause in offer that was signed back by him — Offer was one page long, probation clause was stand-alone paragraph in middle of page, and it stated in plain language that employment was probationary for six months — Person who signs contract is taken to have read contract that he or she signs and is taken to have agreed to its terms — There was no error in motion judge's finding that employer had not induced employee to leave his prior employment — Conclusion that employee was subject to probationary period was inconsistent with finding that employee had been induced to leave employment at previous company — Emails preceding offer did not support employee's claim of inducement — Employer had provided — It was open for motion judge to find that employee had failed to establish that employer had acted in bad faith and that employer had met its obligation to employee.
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