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Feb 17, 2017

BlackBerry faces class action suit over more than 300 employees' severance

Former BlackBerry employees claim loss of seniority, entitlements after Ford partnership

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OTTAWA - A class action against BlackBerry Ltd. has been filed on behalf of more than 300 employees across the country who allege they lost their severance entitlements after being transferred to a business partner of the smartphone software company.

In a statement of claim, Ottawa law firm Nelligan O'Brien Payne said BlackBerry (BB.TO) 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.

In a statement to BNN, BlackBerry said the case "lacks merit." 

Law firm claims BlackBerry misled employees on Ford

An Ottawa law firm is claiming Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry misled hundreds of employees who moved to Ford as part of a partnership between the two companies. BNN's Jon Erlichman has more.

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

Nelligan O'Brien Payne contends the company structured the transfer to circumvent paying such entitlements.

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.

A BlackBerry spokeswoman said the company had no comment about the class action.

- with files from BNN