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Duty to Mitigate

"Changing Employment Terms—Developments in Constructive Dismissal"

"Changing Employment Terms—Developments in Constructive Dismissal" is the title of a paper that Richard E. Press of Davis LLP in Vancouver, BC prepared for the Employment Law Conference held on May 2011 (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia).

The Table of Contents is as follows:

  • Constructive Dismissal-The Basics
  • Responding to Repudiation of the Employment Agreement
  • Condoning Changed Terms.
  • Non-Legal Strategies to Have an Employee Accept Changed Terms

BC gains 8,900 jobs in April 2011; unemployment rate dips from 8.1% to 7.9%

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Statistics Canada issued its April 2011 Labour Force Survey today. Key stats for British Columbia in April (as compared to March) were:

  • a gain of 8,900 jobs; 
  • a dip in the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.9%.

Nationally:

  • employment rose by 58,000 in April, mainly in part time. 
  • the unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage points to 7.6%. 

Employee who was “laid off” during recession was not required to return to same employer to mitigate damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - High Tech

Emmanuelle Renard ("Renard") was a valued with 12 years of service when her employer, Facet Decision Systems inc. ("Facet"), reluctantly laid her off in July 2009 because of the economic downturn.

Facet subsequently realized that it was not permitted to impose a layoff, and that the effect of a layoff was in fact a dismissal without cause. As such, a few months later, Facet offered to re-employ her in the same position.

Renard refused the offer of re-employment and instead commenced a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. Facet took the position that she had failed to mitigate her damages by not accepting her job back.

Court's Decision

Renard took the position that she was not required to return to Facet for three general reasons.

First, she argued that the relationship had broken down and become poisoned, making it impossible for her to continue working for Facet. The court rejected this argument, pointing to the following:  read more »

Judge grants application by employer to re-open wrongful dismissal trial to adduce fresh evidence about mitigation

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Graham v. Galaxie Signs Ltd., 2010 BCSC 1655, the judge granted an application by the defendant employer to re-open a wrongful dismissal trial to adduce fresh evidence about the plaintiff former employees mitigation efforts 'following the termination of his employment.

Background

The trial was held in October 2009 and continued in February 2010. The judge issued reasons for judgment on April 30, 2010.

The employer filed its application to re-open the trial on September 28, 2010. The formal order flowing from the reasons had not get been entered in the court by the parties.  read more »

Two employer surveys suggest that chill continuing to come off labour market climate in Canada

Jurisdiction: - All

Two employer surveys released yesterday and reported on by the Vancouver Sun today suggest that the chill is continuing to come off the labour market climate in Canada.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 1,900 Canadian employers:  read more »