Skip to Content

Wrongful Dismissal

"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

Manitoba court awards wrongfully dismissed employee solicitor-client costs and punitive damages

Jurisdiction: - Manitoba
Sector: - First Nations

The decision in Lounsbury v. Dakota Tipi First Nation, 2011 MBQB 96 is unique in that the court awarded the plaintiff former employee both solicitor client costs and punitive damages because of the defendant employer's conduct.

The court had previously awarded the former employee $143,000 in notice period damages.

Solicitor-Client Costs

As the court stated, solicitor-client costs are or special costs "are intended to more closely represent a party's actual legal costs" (para 41). In the case, the court awarded solicitor-client costs on two basis:  read more »

Ontario court refuses to certify class action based on claims of constructive dismissal and breach of ESA

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Insurance

In Kafka v. Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, 2011 ONSC 2305 - which was issued on April 12, 2011 - the Ontario Superior Court of Justice refused to certify a propsed class action that was based on allegations of:

  • constructive dismissal; and
  • a claim for termination pay and/or severance under the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

The claim pertained to a general announcement letter that Allstate issued on July 24, 2007, to approximately 350 to 450 active agents (employees) in Ontario, advising that effective September 1, 2009 a revised product distribution model and agent compensation system would be implemented.  The new model was then phased in from September 1, 2007 through 2009. 

The court summarized the issue on the certification motion (application), and its decision, as follows:  read more »

Supreme Court of Canada denies leave to appeal in Soost v. Merrill Lynch Canada employment termination case

The Supreme Court of Canada has denied leave to appeal of the Alberta Court of Appeal's decision in Merrill Lynch Canada Inc. v. Soost, 2010 ABCA 251.

The trial judge in this case had determined that the employer did not have just cause to terminate Mr. Soost's employment and had awarded him damages as follows:

  • $600,000 on account of his notice period; and
  • $1.6 million in damages to his reputation and book of business or goodwill. This award was made pursuant to the principles expressed in Honda v. Keays 2008 SCC 39.

On appeal, the Alberta Court of Appeal quashed the $1.6 million damages award. (The notice period damages were not appealed).