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Wrongful Dismissal

Supreme Court of Canada will not hear appeal of Roman Catholic priest's unsuccessful constructive dismissal claim

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Religion

The Supreme Court of Canada announced on May 17, 2012 that the application for leave to appeal in Hart v. Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Kingston was dismissed without costs, meaning the top court won't hear the case.

In a decision issued on November 22, 2011 -Hart v. Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Kingston, in Canada, 2011 ONCA 728 - the Ontario Court of Appeal ("ONCA") had ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction over the priest's constructive dismissal claim, upholding the decision of the Ontario Superior Court.

Specifically, the ONCA stated:  read more »

SCC to hear Quebec case on impact of sale of business, wrongful dismissal on enforceability of non-compete

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear the appeal in Yannick Payette, Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd., successor to Mammoet Crane Inc. v. Guay inc. (Que. C.A., Dec. 12, 2011) (34662).

As set out in the Court's summary, the key issue on appeal is whether the Quebec Court of Appeal erred in applying a non-competition clause despite the broad scope of the clause and the wrongful termination of employment relationship in light of the Civil Code regime.

By way of background, the Court's summary states:  read more »

Top court to address whether pension benefits should be deducted when assessing wrongful dismissal damages

The Supreme Court of Canada announced on April 5, 2012 that it would be hearing the appeal in IBM Canada Limited v. Richard Waterman.

This case, from BC, concerns whether pension benefits from an employer funded plan should be deducted from wrongful dismissal damages.

The Supreme Court of Canada's summary of the decision is as follows:  read more »

BCCA upholds ruling that disrespectful, inflammatory letter from employee's lawyer provided just cause

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In Grewal v. Khalsa Credit Union, 2012 BCCA 56, the BC Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of a former branch manager at the Khalsa Credit Union. 

In a May 2011 decision, the trial court had ruled that a disrespectful, inflammatory letter from the employee's lawyer had "tipped the balance" in favour of  the employer having just cause for termination. The trial court's decision can be found here.

SCC refuses leave to appeal in Que notice, pension case involving 2 former Canadian Jewish Congress employees

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal today in Leona Polger, et al. v. Canadian Jewish Congress. (Que. C.A., June 21, 2011) (34438).

The case concerned two long serving employees of the Canadian Jewish Congress ("CJC") - one with 36 years service, the other with 22 years. The employees had been dismissed by the CJC in December 2004 and January 2005.

The Quebec Superior Court had awarded them each 36 months notice and a pension enhancement.

On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal had reduced the notice to 24 months and determined that they were not entitled to the pension enhancement. See: Canadian Jewish Congress c. Polger, 2011 QCCA 1169.

For more on this case:  read more »

Ontario HR Tribunal dismisses human rights application where employee also filed wrongful dismissal court claim

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

In Jarrett v. Vance, 2012 HRTO 24, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal dismissed a human rights application where the employee had also filed a wrongful dismissal claim in court.

In reaching this decision, the Tribunal stated:

I am satisfied that the applicant's Statement of Claim and this Application are based on the same facts and that both assert the same type of allegations, as well as seek similar remedies. In fact, the applicant's narrative in both the Application and the Statement of Claim are virtually identical. While the Statement of Claim makes no explicit reference to the Code, it is clear that the applicant's allegations concern the same events that are alleged to constitute discrimination and reprisal in the Application and that both assert the same rights with respect to unfair dismissal and failure to provide work  read more »

Dismissal for just cause referred to as the "capital punishment" of employment law

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Manufacturing

In this passage in Plester v. Polyone Canada Inc., 2011 ONSC 6068, the court stated that just cause dismissals have been referred to as the "capital punishment" of Canadian employment law:

[32]           The law of employment in Canada requires employers to provide adequate notice before dismissing an employee. Where the employer wishes to dismiss n employee summarily, on the basis of misconduct, the onus is on the employer to show just cause.  read more »