Bucking conventional human resources wisdom, a recent academic paper has concluded that bonus programs may encourage employees to cheat more than other types of performance pay systems.
The paper - titled "Are You Paying Your Employees to Cheat? An Experimental Investigation" - was published in the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy in April 2010 ("B.E." stand for Berkeley Electronic).
The paper's abstract explains the experiment that was employed as follows:
We compare, through a laboratory experiment using salient financial incentives, misrepresentations of performance under target-based compensation with those under both a linear piece-rate and a tournament-based bonus system. An anagram game was employed as the experimental task. Results show that productivity was similar and statistically indistinguishable under the three schemes.
The abstract then goes on to state the following about the researchers' findings: read more »
In Waterman v. IBM Canada Limited, 2010 BCSC 376, a 65 year old employee with 40 years of service was awarded a 20 month notice period. At the time of dismissal, the employee had had no plans to retire.
In reaching its decision, the BC Supreme Court addressed the following issues of interest:
- the impact of the character of employment on the notice period;
- the impact of health problems on the notice period;
- compensation for lost stock purchases over the notice period; and
- whether pension benefits received over the notice period should be deducted from the damages award.
Character of Employment
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In Mackie v. West Coast Engineering Group Ltd., 2009 BCSC 1775, the 48 year-old middle manager with 21 months service and an annual base salary of $57,500, was awarded a notice period of nine months.
The court noted that the law is clear that a dismissed employee cannot be compensated in damages for the loss of a job or for the pain and distress that follows as a result of the dismissal. The court also stated that the "unique" factor relating to the impact of the dismissal on the employee's family was not one to be given much weight in determining the length of the notice period.
That said, the manner in which the employee was dismissed and the impact it had on him and his family were undoubtedly what led to the court to award a notice period of nine months, which was at the high end of what the employee was seeking. Specifically: read more »
Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP has published "The Wrongful Dismissal Manual" (October 2009), which is "designed to provide employers with guidance on the general statutoryand common law principles applicable whenever an employee's employment is terminated in Canada's four main business jurisdictions: British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec."
Taryn Mackie, a lawyer at Bull Housser Tupper in Vancouver, has prepared a paper entitled, "Rightsize, without going Wrong: Recognizing Issues with Downsizing and Severance Pay" (June 2009).