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BC Court of Appeal

Can a "professional" have his/her notice entitlement limited to that in the BC Employment Standards Act?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

Mr. Wong, a chartered accountant, was hired by UBC in a newly created position of Controller, commencing on September 3, 2002.

The letter confirming his employment stated that the terms and conditions of his employment would be those found in two agreements that UBC had entered into with the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff. One of these agreements contained the following terms in relation to notice:

An employee terminated during the probationary period for reasons other than just cause shall receive notice or pay in lieu of notice in accordance with the provision of the Employment Standards Act.

UBC ended up not implementing Wong's position and thus his employment was terminated just under 7 months later. UBC took the position that, in accordance with the employment contract, it was required to provide him with only 1 week's pay. However, "out of courtesy", it had paid him 1 month's salary.  read more »

The legal standard for dismissal of a probationary employee

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Manufacturing

What is the standard for dismissal of a probationary employee? In Jadot v. Concert Industries Ltd., 1997 CanLII 4137 (BC C.A.), the BC Court of Appeal made the following observations:

The standard for dismissal of a regular employee is just cause; for a probationary employee the standard is suitability: see Pathak v. Royal Bank, 1996 CanLII 2130 (BC C.A.)...In this case, Concert Industries dismissed the appellant because its officers concluded that the appellant was not a suitable candidate for long-term employment.  read more »

Deductions From An Employee's Pay Cheque

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Health Care

Published in Lawson Lundell LPP Labour and Employment Newsletter (Summer 2005)

The BC Court of Appeal recently confirmed that, pursuant to the BC Employment Standards Act, an employer is prohibited from making unilateral withholdings/deductions from an employee's pay cheque for any purpose, including to recoup a previous overpayment of wages to the employee.

An employer is, however, permitted to make withholdings/deductions from an employee's pay cheque in certain circumstances, including to recover an overpayment of wages, where: (1) the employee consents to the specific withholding/deduction; or (2) a statute or a collective agreement expressly authorizes the employer's action.

If the employer does not have consent or authorization by way of a statute or a collective agreement, it must recover overpayments (or other monies owed) by pursuing a grievance (in a unionized workplace) or bringing a claim in court (in a non unionized workplace).  read more »

Can an employee sue both the vendor and the purchaser of a business for wrongful dismissal?

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech - Manufacturing

In a recent case the B.C. Court of Appeal confirmed that an employee can sue both the Vendor and Purchaser of a business for wrongful dismissal where he/she has been dismissed after the sale of the business. Specifically, the law is:  read more »

Wrongful dismissal claim denied where employee's company had contracted with the employer

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Court of Appeal recently held that an individual whose company had contracted with the City of Vancouver could not maintain a personal wrongful dismissal action against the City.

Mr. Zupan was the owner of Mario Zupan Trucking Ltd. (the "Company") and was the principal driver of the Company's one truck. The Company was on the City's "hired truck list" and the City had used the company's services on an almost full-time basis for several years. Among other things, the City required that all truck operators on the list meet certain licensing, safety and registration requirements and also wear certain types of clothing. In 2001, the City removed the Company from the list because of problems with the Company's back-up driver.

The Court held that Mr. Zupan could not bring a wrongful dismissal claim against the City because there was no "legal relationship" and no "employer/employer" between Mr. Zupan and the City.  read more »