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Insurance

Advertisement in trade magazine, launching of website establish prima facie breach of non-solicit agreement

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Insurance

In Hub International (Richmond Auto Mall) Ltd. v. Mendham, 2011 BCSC 1780, the BC Supreme Court found that a former employee's advertisement for his new marine insurance company in a trade magazine and the launching of his new company's website established a prima facie breach of the non-solicit agreement he had entered into with his former employer, Hub International.

Specifically, the court stated:  read more »

Ontario court refuses to certify class action based on claims of constructive dismissal and breach of ESA

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Insurance

In Kafka v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 2011 ONSC 2305 - which was issued on April 12, 2011 - the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to certify a propsed class action that was based on allegations of:

  • constructive dismissal; and
  • a claim for termination pay and/or severance under the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

The claim pertained to a general announcement letter that Allstate issued on July 24, 2007, to approximately 350 to 450 active agents (employees) in Ontario, advising that effective September 1, 2009 a revised product distribution model and agent compensation system would be implemented.  The new model was then phased in from September 1, 2007 through 2009. 

The court summarized the issue on the certification motion (application), and its decision, as follows:  read more »

$35,000 is new highwater mark in damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Insurance

In a decision issued on October 8, 2008 -  Senyk v. WFG Agency Network (No. 2), 2008 BCHRT 376 -  the BC Human Rights Tribunal awarded the complainant $35,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect. This establishes a new highwater mark in BC for these type of damages.

Can an employer impose an administrative suspension on an employee facing criminal charges?

Jurisdiction: - Quebec
Sector: - Insurance

In Cabiakman v. Industrial Alliance Life Insurance Co., 2004 SCC 55, the Supreme Court of Canada ("SCC") addressed if/when an employer can impose an administrative suspension on a non-unionized employee facing criminal charges.

The employer and employee were located in Quebec thus governed by the Quebec Civil Code. However, the principles enunciated by the court likely also apply to employment contracts formed in Canada's other jurisdictions.

Background

The employer was an insurance company and hired the employee as a sales manager in one of its branch offices. Approximately three months after he was hired, the employee was arrested at home for the attempted extortion of his securities broker. He was held in custody for about three days and then released after pleading not guilty to the charges. Shortly thereafter, a newspaper picked up the story and published an article.

The employer suspended the employee without pay, without investigating the situation and without providing the employee the opportunity to explain the situation.  read more »