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Wallace & Bad Faith & Moral & Mental Distress Damages

Sexual harassment allegations not supported but abusive behaviour by manager led to constructive dismissal

In Cooke v. HTS Engineering Ltd., 2009 CanLII 73907 (O.N.S.C.), the court found that the former employee's allegations of sexual harassment were not supported, but that the manager's abusive behaviour supported a finding of constructive dismissal.

By way of contrast, in a recent decision out of Alberta - Pawlett v. Dominion Protection Services Ltd., 2008 ABCA 369 - the Alberta Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge's decision that sexual harassment by the boss led to a constructive dismissal. 

BC Court awards employee almost $40,000 in unpaid overtime going back six years

In Stastny v. Dependable Turbines Ltd. 2009 BCSC 1648,  the court addressed the notice period, a claim for unpaid overtime and a claim for aggravated or punitive damages.

Notice Period

The 51 year old machinist with 20 years service was dismissed without cause. The court awarded him a notice period of 15 months.  The fact that the employee had been laid off and rehired on several occasions did not, the court concluded, effect the duration of his employment for the purposes of calculating his notice period.

Unpaid Overtime

The employee had regularly worked more than 40 years a week but had not received overtime pay. This was confirmed by time sheets produced by the employer, which showed that the employee only received his regular wage for overtime hours worked. The employer argued that it had an agreement with the employee to this effect.  read more »

"Is Wallace Dead? The Keays to the Mystery Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Revisited"

Two lawyers at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP in Toronto have co-authored a paper entitled "Is Wallace Dead? The Keays to the Mystery Damages in Wrongful Dismissal Revisited" (2009). It addresses the following cases:

  1. Vorvis v. Insurance Corp. of British Columbia,
  2. Wallace, v. United Grain Growers Ltd.,
  3. Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays, and
  4. the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's decision in Piresferreira v. Ayotte and Bell Mobility Inc.

Ontario's "10th Annual Employment Law Summit"

I attended the Law Society of Upper Canada's "10th Annual Employment Law Summit" in Toronto today.

The keynote speaker was the Honourable Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein of the Supreme Court of Canada. He focused his comments on two recent cases in which the SCC has addressed fiduciary duties in the employment context:  read more »

Apprentice employee awarded $100,000 in punitive damages because employer covered up real reasons for dismissal

The decision in Marchen v. Dams Ford Lincoln Sales Ltd. 2009 BCSC 400, is noteworthy for four reasons:

  1. it involved an Apprenticeship Agreement made pursuant to the BC Industry Training and Apprenticeship Act:
  2. the dismissed employee was awarded $25,000 in consequential damages because of his apprentice status;
  3. the dismissed employee was awarded $100,000 in punitive damages; and
  4. the dismissed employee was awarded special costs.


In November 2002, the plaintiff, a recent high school grad, entered into an apprenticeship agreement with the defendant car dealership (the "Employer") under the BC Industry Training and Apprenticeship Act. Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement and the provisions of the Act:  read more »

Employer must pay damages to employee for "false imprisonment" during theft investigation

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Retail Trade

In Kalsi v. Greater Vancouver Associate Stores Ltd. 2009 BCSC 287, the BC Supreme Court awarded a fired employee $6,500 in damages for "false imprisonment" during the employer's theft investigation.

Mr. Kalsi had been employed as a mechanic by a Canadian Tire store for 16 years. He was 36 years old and off work on disability at the time the incident occurred.

Specifically, he was accused by the store's security officer of attending to the store on May 20, 2005 and stealing a light bulb for his vehicle.

After confronting Mr. Kalsi, the security officer told Mr. Kalsi to follow him up to the lunchroom. It was Mr. Kalsi's evidence that, once in the lunchroom:  read more »

"Back to Basics in Employment Law: Restatement & Harmonization of Damages in the Employment Setting"

Murray Tevlin and John Chesko  have written a paper entitled, "Back to Basics in Employment Law: Restatement & Harmonization of Damages in the Employment Setting" (January 24, 2009).

The authors are lawyers at TevlinGleadle Employment Law Strategies in Vancouver, The paper was presented the paper at Insight Canada's 4th Annual Western Canada Labour Relations Conference.

The paper's Overview provides:

This paper proceeds to consider two important recent advances in the theory of damages both in common law and in unionized employment settings.

The first part of this paper discusses the significant restatement and harmonization in the law of damages for wrongful dismissal set out in the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Honda v Keays [2008] SCJ No 40.  read more »