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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101416
Experience:  Lawyer
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Was recruited by a large FI one year contract, and after

Customer Question

Was recruited by a large FI for a one year contract, and after my initial rejection of their offer of a contract with no benefits, they proposed a full benefit contract for the one year period. The benefits were itemized in my offer letter, and included a provision about Employee Share Purchase plan whereby the bank would match certain contributions up to a maximum of $1500 per calendar year.
Upon acceptance of offer and completion of 3 months probation, I enrolled in share purchase plan, with maximum contributions in order maximize the employee benefit portion. Upon contract completion, the bank returned my contributions only, and stated that I forfeited $2700 as per the terms of the plan. No reference of a two year minimum was included in my offer letter and accompanying documents, but the HR department stated it would have been in the fine print upon enrolment (after my 3 month probation).
Am I entitled to the promised $2700? It is a small portion of the contract, but seems unfair to claim I "forfeited" this benefit even though my contract was only for one year and there was no such condition at my time of acceptance.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
What province is this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ontario, and contract ended May 2015.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
I don't see where the provisions of the contract would be or could be changed. There was a binding contract and when that is the case neither party can unilaterally alter the provisions. You should not pay legal fees for this aside from possibly paying a lawyer to send a demand letter threatening a lawsuit. But you can consider suing in Small Claims Court and self-representing. There are no guarantees in court, especially in Small Claims Court but you are in the right from what you've told me and as well, it is quite possible that the bank will not want to pay legal fees for this as they will need a lawyer for court and will likely offer you a settlement that is good enough for you to accept.