Over 300 employees sue BlackBerry for bait-and-switch to cut severance benies

The law firm of Nelligan O’Brien Payne is taking in plaintiffs for a 300-plus class action against BlackBerry. The pursuers? Its own former employees and contractors.

All of them were claimed to have been transferred by the company to a partner business in a way that would save the company the need to dole out severance packages.

“Only after employees accepted employment with the business partner, BlackBerry informed the employees that they had resigned their employment,” reads a press release from the law firm. “Blackberry provided resignation letters for the employees to sign and dictated their last date of employment.”

The CBC reports that the business partner, Ford Motor Company, — likely involved in BlackBerry’s QNX smart car bid — took in the employees last fall.

The Ontario-based company stated to employees that because the transaction was a transfer and not a sale, tenures were wiped and, thus, benefits were not given.

BlackBerry has responded to the suit thusly:

We have reviewed the allegations in the lawsuit, and are confident we complied with all our obligations to our employees. Therefore, we believe the case lacks merit and we will defend against it vigorously.

The class is seeking damages of either $20 million or proper termination entitlements.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.