Skip to Content

Resignations

Employee's stress due to nature of job not employer's improper conduct; no construtive dismissal

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - First Nations

Kade v. Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation [2011] C.L.A.D. No. 101 (Mole)

BC Court of Appeal overturns award of $20,000 in bad faith compensatory damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In a post on June 19, 2010 ("Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages"), I summarized the BC Supreme Court's decision in Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833.

In that decision, the trial judge awarded the employee $20,000 in damages for the manner of dismissal, and the employer's conduct thereafter.  read more »

Failure to adequately follow-up after fire destroyed employee's home, attack on reputation, lead to $20,000 bad faith damages

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Beggs v. Westport Foods Ltd., 2010 BCSC 833, the court awarded the plaintiff/former employee $20,000 in bad faith/unfair dealing damages because, among other factors:

  • the employer only tried to contact the employee twice after a fire destroyed her home before assuming she had quit; and
  • the employer's lawyer had attacked the plaintiff's reputation and had undertaken a generally aggressive tone in his correspondence with the plaintiff's lawyer.

Background

The plaintiff had worked as a clerk in the employer's meat department for 9.5 years. She earned $13.10/hour.  She had a Grade 12 education, was 52 years old and had a "good record" at work.

Triggering Event

On February 18, 2009, the plaintiff's mobile home was destroyed by a fire. She phoned her supervisor the next day to advise that she would be coming into work as scheduled that day, and did not know when she would be returning to work.  read more »

Employer receives $11.4 million in damages for former employees wrongful resignation, breach of fiduciary duties

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

I'm extremely slow off the mark on reporting on this case, given that it was issued by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in September 2009.

However, the decision in GasTOPS Ltd. v. Forsyth, 2009 CanLII 66153 (ON S.C.) - which has been called "a treatise of judicial guidance on both wrongful resignation and who is a fiduciary, and the damages which from both" by one legal commentator - demands inclusion in the blog, even at this late date.

Briefly put, it saw an employer who sued four of its former employees for wrongful resignation and breach of fiduciary duties receive a damages award of $11.4 million. The employees had departed after giving only two weeks notice to set up/work in their own company, which competed with GasTOPS.

The judgment is apparently currently the subject of both an appeal and across-appeal.  read more »

Employee's actions do not support finding of unequivocal resignation or abandonment of employment

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The court in Koos v. A&A Customs Brokers, 2009 BCSC 563 stated that in the circumstances of this case, it could not find that a reasonable person would have regarded the actions of the plaintiff former employee as an unequivocal resignation or an abandonment of employment.

As such, the court concluded that the plaintiff had been wrongfully dismissed.

At the time of dismissal, the 40 year old plaintiff had 10 years of service, worked in a specialized position (customs compliance) and was earning approximately $50,000 per year. The court awarded her 10 months reasonable notice.