Navigating the Legal Landscape of Employment Termination: A Comprehensive Overview

In the case of PRGX Canada Corp, 2023 ONSC 6374, the termination of the Plaintiff from PRGX Canada Corp. after 29 years of dedicated service presents a compelling examination of employment law, especially in the context of reasonable notice and
severance entitlements. Justice J. Callaghan’s ruling in this landmark case underscores the complexities surrounding dismissal and highlights the significance of various factors such as age, position, and the specialized nature of the employment in determining severance entitlements. Through this case, we delve into the nuances of summary judgment, appropriate notice periods, and the principles of mitigation, offering invaluable insights for both employers and employees navigating the often turbulent waters of employment terminations.

The Case at a Glance

Mr. How’s dismissal in July 2022, amidst a company restructuring, set the stage for a legal battle centered on his severance entitlement. At 63, and with a near three-decade tenure, How argued for a 24-month notice period, citing his age, seniority, and the specialized nature of his role. PRGX Canada Corp., however, contended a notice period of 16 to 18 months was sufficient, further asserting that How’s lack of mitigation efforts justified a reduction to merely eight months of severance.

Justice Callaghan’s decision to grant a 24-month notice period without a reduction for failure to mitigate forms the cornerstone of this case. This ruling not only reflects the court’s acknowledgment of How’s significant contributions and the challenges he faced in securing comparable employment but also reiterates the judiciary’s stance on the treatment of senior, long-term employees in termination scenarios.

Summary Judgment and Reasonable Notice

The application of summary judgment in this case reaffirms its suitability for straightforward wrongful dismissal claims, emphasizing efficiency and expedience in resolving disputes without a trial. This aligns with the precedent set in Hryniak v. Mauldin and further elucidated in Arnone v. Best Theratonics Ltd., where wrongful dismissal cases without complicating factors are deemed apt for such motions.
Determining the appropriate notice period required a careful consideration of How’s age, the length and character of his employment, and the availability of similar positions.

Justice Callaghan’s reliance on established legal principles and precedents, including the seminal Love v. Acuity Investment Management Inc. and Paquette v. TeraGo Networks Inc., illustrates the multifaceted approach courts take in assessing reasonable notice, taking into account the unique circumstances of each case.

Mitigation of Damages

A pivotal aspect of the judgment was the examination of How’s efforts to mitigate his losses post-dismissal. The onus was on PRGX to prove both a lack of reasonable mitigation efforts by How and the availability of comparable employment. The court’s findings underscore the nuanced understanding of mitigation in employment law, where the nature of the terminated position and the specialized skills of the employee significantly influence the expectations and realities of securing alternative employment.


The ruling in Jimmy How Tein Fat v. PRGX Canada Corp. provides a rich tapestry for understanding the intricacies of employment law, particularly regarding termination and severance entitlements. Justice Callaghan’s judgment not only sheds light on the considerations and calculations involved in determining reasonable notice but also reinforces the obligations of employers in termination scenarios.

Through this case, we gain deeper insights into the legal frameworks guiding employment terminations, the importance of detailed examination of each case’s specific circumstances, and the overarching principles of fairness and equity that underpin employment law. This decision serves as a significant point of reference for legal professionals, employers, and employees alike, offering clarity and guidance on navigating the complexities of wrongful dismissal and severance entitlements.

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