A letter of reference is a key term in a wrongful dismissal matter. It would be prudent in most situations to include the actual letter as a term of the settlement. Attach it as an appendix, along with a provision that the oral references are consistent with the content of the reference letter. In some situations, it is stipulated that the oral references are confined to what is stipulated in the reference letter. This way you have made the reference letter and the oral references an actual term of the settlement.
At common law, upon termination of employment, an employee is entitled to damages for wrongful dismissal. The employee is entitled to damages in lieu of reasonable notice subject to a duty to mitigate. These damages are inclusive of his/her statutory entitlements under the Ontario Employment Standards Act, 2000 or the Canada Labour Code, depending upon whether the company is provincially or federally regulated. The employee’s duty to mitigate requires that he/she take active steps to find comparable employment during the reasonable notice period. Any monies earned during the notice period are then deducted from the award. The statutory entitlements are not subject to mitigation.