A class action against BlackBerry, seeking more than $20-million in damages, has been filed on behalf of more than 300 employees across Canada who allege they lost their severance entitlements after being transferred to a business partner of the company.
In a statement of claim, Ottawa law firm Nelligan O’Brien Payne said BlackBerry has stated the transfer “is not a sale of business,” meaning the employees will lose all of their years of service without any compensation.
The firm says that BlackBerry’s actions amount to a termination of the employees’ entitlement to their statutory, common law and/or contractual entitlements on termination.
Nelligan O’Brien Payne contends the company structured the transfer to circumvent paying such entitlements and filed a notice of action on Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court on behalf of David Parker, a 14-year employee of BlackBerry who claims he accepted a transfer to Ford before being told that he would not receive any termination benefits from BlackBerry or retain his years of service.
The class-action lawsuit has not yet been filed or certified. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
A BlackBerry spokeswoman said the company had no comment about the class action.