Over the past several years, there have been a wave of decisions from the courts which make it increasingly more difficult for employers to remove employees’ entitlements to bonuses and incentive compensation upon termination of employment. Fortunately for employers, in Battiston v. Microsoft Canada Inc., 2021 ONCA 727, the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a beneficial decision for employers on this issue.
The Plaintiff, Fransic Battiston, commenced a wrongful dismissal action against Microsoft Canada Inc. after his employment was terminated without cause in August 2018. Upon termination, the Plaintiff’s awarded but unvested stock awards were rendered null and void.
At trial, the Plaintiff was awarded a reasonable notice period of nearly 24 months. The key issue before the trial judge was whether the Plaintiff was entitled to damages for his lost stock awards that would have otherwise vested during the reasonable notice period.