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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 96417
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I live in Ontario and have been helping my niece with a

Customer Question

I live in Ontario and have been helping my niece with a human rights claim. Her employer (a franchisee of Yogurt World Canada) fired her for being away due to illness. We went before the tribunal and have been waiting for the ruling. Not long afterwards, I received a call from the CEO of Yogurt World. He was very clear that the parent company had no standing and didn't want any involvement, but he knew that the franchisee was going bankrupt and wanted to negotiate on his behalf. About a month ago, he offered $2,000.00, which my niece accepted. I sent the Release to him two weeks ago, but did not file the form required by the HRTO (Form 25) to indicate a settlement had been reached. In addition, I have never spoken to her employer during these negotiations, so I really have no way of knowing whether or not the CEO is negotiating on his behalf, or on behalf of the company. I have also not received a copy of the release with the respondent's signature.
Today I received the ruling from the HRTO. My niece has been awarded $10,000.00.
My question is about the release. Is she bound to it?
Thanks..
Submitted: 24 days ago.
Category: Canada Business Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

What did the release say?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
It was a standard release that settled the claim for $2000.00. It said that he was releasing him from any and all claims. I have no idea if he's signed it.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

But your niece did sign it right?

Does is release both the franchisee and the franchisor?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
it does and yes she did. I know it's a long shot, but I am looking to see if I can get her out of it. She is only 17 and felt pressured to take it because the CEO kept telling us that this guy was going to go bankrupt. I wanted her to wait, but she was nervous. I'm by no means a legal expert. I was just helping her out, and wanted her to get something.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

Oh!

I now have a few more questions.

Did she have independent legal advice?

Does she have a litigation guardian appointed to act for her?

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
No she didn't have either.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

Here is what I think.

First, leaving aside these excellent new facts I've just learned if she can show that there actually was no foreseeable bankruptcy and this was a ploy to get her to settle then a court will not consider the release to be valid at all.

Second, even if she were an adult undue pressure is grounds for setting aside a release.

But this is even better for her. She is a minor. She is not legally competent to sign a release. And she didn't even have legal advice!

I don't believe at all that this release would stand up in court.

On the other hand though, if the employer is about to declare bankruptcy that decision is not worth the paper it is written on.

Does that help?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 24 days ago.
Am I able to ask for proof of foreseeable bankruptcy? I am not sure where to go from here. I have no idea why this man got involved in the first place. I was dealing directly with her employer (the one named in the original complaint) and then suddenly this other person stepped in and I wasn't able to speak with the employer anymore. I also know that a lawyer drafted the release, but when I asked if it was the Company's lawyer, I was refused an answer.
My gut is telling me that they are trying to dupe a young girl because they knew they were in trouble. I just don't know the next steps to take.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 24 days ago.

I suggest that your niece considers paying a lawyer to write one letter for her.

The letter would set out the facts and demand that the employer adhere to the $10,000.

The letter will say that a huge corporation scared and unduly pressured and even possibly misrepresented the facts to get her, a child, to settle and that she will be seeking to enforce the judgment if is it not paid at once.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-***-***-**** or(###) ###-####(within the GTA)

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 23 days ago.

Is there anything more I can help you with at this point in time?

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