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Copperlaw
Copperlaw, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2016
Experience:  Lawyer and Retired cop. Drug expert, breath tech, negotiator, traffic specialist. Criminal, Family, Civil and others.
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An employee of 10 years has quit and gave us 2 weeks notice

Customer Question

An employee of 10 years has quit and gave us 2 weeks notice yet did not come in to work during his notice. He has also been hired by a direct competitor. His job started on the 1st day of his 2 week notice. He was also aware I would be away on holidays overseas when his 2 week notice was to start. We are not unionized, we are a small office. He held the title of Logistics Manager.
Should I sue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Good day, I would be happy to assist you with this question.

There is no legislated obligation for employees to give notice upon resignation. There are cases however where the courts have looked at the "reasonableness" of notice or the lack thereof. This usually comes into play in situations like yours, where employees have left with little to no notice and take up employment with a competitor or start their own competing business.

If an employee has failed to give reasonable notice considering all circumstances, then the employer can seek damages through the courts, as you are inquiring about. The first thing to figure out is what if any damages you have incurred as a result of the lack of notice or any breach of a fiduciary duty that the employee owes to the employer, including any breach of a non-competition clause in the working agreement.

Did the employee fail to complete work that he was assigned and you lost customers or contracts? Has the employee taken any clients from you? Was your business unable to operate due to him leaving, thereby causing you to suffer a loss?

You are certainly within your rights to sue him for damages, if you are able to identify specific damages that are a direct result of his failure to give reasonable notice. Also, as I indicated, you can sue if he is breaching a non-competition clause.

I look forward to hearing back from you so that we can discuss this matter further and determine what damages you have incurred and whether it's worth your while to pursue an action against him.

Regards

Jim

Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I see that you were back in and viewed my response, however I do not see a reply from you. Please let me know if you are satisfied with the information I have provided or if you require anything further, as I would be happy to continue discussing this with you.

Also, please take a moment to leave me a positive rating as this assists me in building my reputation here on the site and recognizes the time I have taken to help you.

Regards

Jim

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This employee also came in on the Sunday before quitting to erase (personal files) from his computer. The problem we have with this is the computers are company property. He had no right being in the office while on holidays while knowing he was quitting the following morning. We are very suspicious of his actions.Jack Desforge
Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jack

That is certainly troubling. Do you have IT staff who can determine what it is exactly that they did on the computer to ensure that the employee did not take any data he shouldn't have? If he was still employed and had access to the computers and building, then although it is certainly suspect, it is not illegal for him to come in and access the computer he uses. However, as I said, if he's done anything else which could affect your business, then this is a problem.

Jim

Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I see that you were back in and viewed my response but left no reply. Please let me know if you are satisfied with the information I have provided or if there is any other information I can provide.

Also, please take a moment to leave me a positive rating as this helps in building my reputation here on the site.

Regards

Jim

Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Jack, can I assume that you are satisfied with the information that I have provided?

Jim

Expert:  Copperlaw replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you require anything further or if we can close this question.

Also, please take a moment to leave me a positive rating.

Jim

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