Blackberry Employees File Class Action Lawsuit Over Transfer to Ford Without Severance Pay
Blackberry employees sue the company on Wednesday alleging that it misled employees into accepting jobs with Ford Motor Company of Canada without proper severance for their years of service. The employees filed the $20 million class action lawsuit against Blackberry in an Ontario Superior Court.
Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP files the class action lawsuit on behalf of 300 Blackberry employees. The suit covers current and former Blackberry employees who have been working in Ontario and across Canada. The plaintiffs claim they accepted the transfer to Ford Motor Co. Canada only to be told, thereafter, that they would not get any termination benefits such as severance pay from Blackberry.
CBC News mentioned Blackberry arranged for the employees' transfer to Ford then informed them that they had resigned once accepted. Moreover, the employees were given resignation letters that laid down their last date of employment with Blackberry. "BlackBerry's actions amount to a termination of the employees [sic] employment," the statement said. "This entitles these employees to statutory, common law and/or contractual entitlements on termination."
Blackberry employees further allege the company has structured the transfer to avoid paying termination entitlements and is refusing to pay them. Notably, the employees have also lost their accumulated years of service with the company. The plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit are seeking $20 million in damages and severance pay benefits as they would otherwise be entitled.
"We have reviewed the allegations in the lawsuit, and are confident we complied with all our obligations to our employees," a Blackberry representative told Value Walk. Blackberry believes the case lacks merit and will defend their position vigorously. As of now, the lawsuit has not been certified or filed and none of the allegations are proven in the court.
The Blackberry employees' transfer was part of a deal with Ford to improve its assisted driving systems and in-car demonstration. The company promised a team of engineers that would assist Ford in the integration of its products.