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Supreme Court Of Canada Rules On The Obligations Of Québec Employers Who Receive Termination Notices From Employees

On July 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (the "SCC") rendered an important decision for Québec employers and employees bound by contracts of employment for an indeterminate term. In Québec (Commission des normes du travail) v. Asphalte Desjardins Inc., 2014 SCC 51 ("Asphalte Desjardins"), the issue before the SCC was whether an employer who receives a notice of termination from an employee can legally terminate the employment contract before the expiration of the notice period provided by the employee without, in turn, having to provide reasonable notice or an indemnity in lieu of such notice. The SCC answered the foregoing question in the negative.

The facts in Asphalte Desjardins were straightforward. The employee provided his employer notice that he would be terminating his contract of employment three weeks later. Three days after receiving the employee's notice and after the employer was unsuccessful in convincing the employee to stay, the employer decided, without providing...

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