Yearly Archives: Employment Law
August 29, 2014

Entitlement to Bonus Payments on Termination

Employers will sometimes include language such as the employee will only receive a bonus if he or she is employed on the date the bonus is paid out. Courts have shown some reluctance to enforce such arrangements. The issue was recently considered in Jivraj v Strategic Maintenance Ltd, 2014 ABQB 463. The issues were: What is [...]

July 18, 2014

When is a Resignation a Voluntary Resignation?

Answering this question is, sometimes, not easy.  The issue was most recently discussed by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Geddes v Silvestri Holdings Inc, 2014 ABQB 416 (CanLII), a case in which the court was required to consider whether an employee resigned or was constructively dismissed. The employee and her business partner had [...]

June 17, 2014

Exceptional Circumstances Required to Exceed 24 Months Reasonable Notice

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Kotecha v. Affinia Canada ULC, 2014 ONCA 411 (CanLII) recently considered an appeal of a reasonable notice award of 24.5 months given to a 70 year machine operator earning an annual salary of $37,918.40 having 20 years service with an auto parts manufacturer. Background Mr. Kotecha brought a motion for [...]

June 16, 2014

Summary Judgment, Retirement and Statutory Severance Pay

The recent case of Kimball v Windsor Raceway Inc, 2014 ONSC 3286 (CanLII) considered a plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in a wrongful dismissal case. Mr. Kimball was a long-service (43 years) employee who was 71 years old.  He claimed that he had been terminated without just cause and was entitled to 24 months salary in [...]

June 11, 2014

Non-Competition Clauses and their Affect on Damages

The court in the recent case of Ostrow v. Abacus Management Corp. Mergers and Acquisitions [2014] B.C.J. No. 1046 considered the impact that a non-competition provision in an employment contract (or hiring document) can have on the damages awarded to an employee terminated without just cause.  While the case is interesting for many reasons, that is the [...]

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 [...]