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Be Better Than Better.com

Trevor R. Thomas

Co-Founder + Partner
December 15, 2021

On December 1st, during a Zoom meeting that lasted three minutes, 900 Better.com employees were fired — and the company’s CEO, Vishal Garg, became infamous. 

Perhaps you have heard of Better.com. The New York-based company is an online mortgage lender which was included on the 2020 Forbes Fintech 50 list. The company was founded by Mr. Garg. Perhaps you’ve heard of him as well. No? Well, you may want to look him up. His management style is… interesting. He also, apparently, once threatened to staple a former business partner to a wall and burn him alive.

What does all this have to do with employment law? 

Mass terminations are not new, and certainly not unfamiliar in BC. We are very fortunate, however, that our courts have recognized that the manner of dismissal is of such importance that it imposes a duty on employers to act in good faith and fair dealing. A breach of this duty through conduct that is untruthful, misleading, or unduly insensitive can be the basis for aggravated damages claims.

If the mass firing by Better.com occurred in BC, could the company be required to pay the dismissed employees aggravated damages? The dismissal was callous, embarrassing, and occurred close to the holidays. This would form a strong basis for awarding aggravated damages.

Conducting terminations is very difficult. However, learning the tools to have tough conversations can help avoid situations that lead to Garg-esque blunders. 

Need help preparing to conduct terminations? Contact us – we can guide you through the process.