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In employment law, inducement deals with how an employee started their relationship with their employer. If it can be shown that it was the employer that initiated the relationship and essentially enticed the employee away from their former secure employment at a different employer, then the length of service of that former employer can to be recognized in calculating how much notice the employee receives from their most recent employer.
It is important to highlight that being employed prior to accepting a different job, while an important factor for a successful inducement argument, does not automatically mean you can claim inducement for a longer notice period. It’s an argument that is based on a variety of factors surrounding the underlying reasons for switching employers.
How long has it been since you left prior employment and worked at your new job?
While one of the key criteria for inducement includes being persuaded away from secure employment, this is also an argument that weakens with time. Inducement is intended for short service employees who were enticed away from secure employment. The longer an employee remains at their new job, the more support the employer has for showing it upheld its promise of new secure and long-term employment.
Was there an offer of a significant increase in responsibilities, compensation, and growth?
As outlined in Wallace v. United Grain Growers Ltd., a more obvious and recognized reason for switching employers is due to proposed significant increases to various aspects of employment. Some examples include a better title, more responsibilities, greater compensation, and an opportunity for career growth. If the new position is more of a lateral move, then that would not support an inducement claim.
Who initiated the relationship?
If the employer reached out to employee and knew that they were currently employed, but pursued them with job offers then this supports a stronger inducement argument. However, if the employee was the one to reach out to the employer and applied through regular processes (ex. Sending a resume, applying online, etc.) then that weakens an inducement argument.
How extensive was the application process?
If the employee had to send in multiple resumes, go through multiple interviews, negotiated salary, and other activities then that would detract from an inducement argument. If the employer immediately hires the employee or extends an unconditional offer of employment, then that supports an inducement argument.
Was there an explicit promise of secure, long-term employment?
One of the fundamental principles of an inducement argument is that the employer persuaded the employee to leave secure employment by promising alternate secure employment. This principle can be severely weakened if a probationary period exists in the new employment. Having a probationary period shows that the employer maintained an opportunity to assess the employee’s skills on a good faith basis and could terminate the employee without notice if they do not meet the employer’s expectations. As outlined in Nagribianko v. Select Wine Merchants, 2017 ONCA 540, a probationary period typically demonstrated a period of uncertain security of employment.
Although the above are a good starting point for determining inducement, it is a non-exhaustive list of criteria and can change based on each situation. To receive more information about your particular employment situation, please call Monkhouse Law for a free 30 minute consultation.
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