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Yearly Archives: Employment Law
January 13, 2014

Is a lay-off a constructive dismissal?

The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently considered this in Hooge v. Gillwood Remanufacturing Inc., 2014 BCSC 11 (CanLII).  They also considered whether the laid off employees refusal to accept a recall amounted to a failure to mitigate. The plaintiff began his employment at the Mill, as a labourer, in 1975.  He worked his way up [...]

January 2, 2014

When is Incompetence Just Cause?

The New Brunswick Court of Queens Bench considered this in Parent v Spielo Manufacturing Incorporated, 2013 CanLII 83647 (NB QB).  The employee was terminated ostensibly for just cause.  She sued, arguing that the employer did not have just cause, but that she was terminated because she was experiencing health issues and because she had responsibilities caring [...]

December 20, 2013

Failure to Investigate Fatal to Just Cause Defence

When a serious employment issue is brought to the employer’s attention, it becomes incumbent on the employer to promptly and thoroughly investigate. In certain circumstances, the employer is under a statutory duty to investigate. In other circumstances, the “obligation” is less clear. In any event, a failure to investigate can have legal implications and adversely [...]

June 12, 2013

The Duty to Mitigate Can Have Harsh Consequences

In my last post I discussed the employee’s duty to mitigate in highly unusual case. The duty to mitigate is an important issue in most wrongful dismissal cases.   The issue was recently discussed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Koenig v. Brandt Tractor Ltd.,2013 BCSC 920. In this case, the employee was employed by [...]

June 10, 2013

When is a Dismissal a Dismissal?

The BC Court of Appeal in  Allen v. Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd., 2013 BCCA 271 recently affirmed atrial judgement that found that an employee who was advised that he was relieved of his duties, and to “go home” while the employee paid him had been dismissed and was not required to mitigate his damages. When he found [...]

April 25, 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go? BCCA Weighs In

While easy to express, the test for determining whether a particular change in the terms of employment amounts to a constructive dismissal is practically complicated.  Furthermore, under what circumstances is an employee required to remain at work under the altered employment terms in mitigation of his or her damages arising from a constructive dismissal? These [...]

February 10, 2013

$100,000 in Punitive Damages Awarded

The Supreme Court of British Columbia in Kelly v. Norsemont Mining Inc., 2013 BCSC 147 (CanLII) considered a wrongful dismissal claim along with a claim for punitive damages arising out of the dismissal of an employee.  He alleged that the dismissal was occasioned out of his insistence that the Company comply with securities regulations.  The employer defended [...]

January 2, 2013

When is Incompetence Just Cause?

The New Brunswick Court of Queens Bench considered this in Parent v Spielo Manufacturing Incorporated, 2013 CanLII 83647 (NB QB).  The employee was terminated ostensibly for just cause.  She sued, arguing that the employer did not have just cause, but that she was terminated because she was experiencing health issues and because she had responsibilities caring [...]

December 13, 2012

Terminate Before or After the Holidays?

This is a tough question and one that I was reminded of the other day when driving into work.  I found an article online when I got into the office the  headline of which reads as follows: Ninety-four employees of … were let go last week as the company permanently cut the jobs as shut down [...]

December 11, 2012

Avoiding the Holiday Party Hangover

With the holiday season fast approaching, the company holiday party is also upon us.   Careful human resources planning will help assure a successful and, one hopes, risk free event.  The holiday party is intended to be a fun event and to allow employees to come together as a group.  It is not calculated to be [...]