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Notice period reduced by six months for failure to mitigate

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The plaintiff was 63 years old and had been employed by the defendant for 38 years as a bench jeweller/goldsmith. He worked full-time and earned $26.50/hour, or just over $58,000 annually. His employment was terminated as a result of the business being sold.

The court found that the plaintiff was entitled to a notice period of 18 months, but that it should be reduced by six months because he had failed to mitigate his damages.

On the mitigation issue, the totality of the plaintiff's evidence was that he had: (1) personally delivered his resume to eight possible employers who were chosen because he had some familiarity with them, and (2) spoken to individuals at one company regarding opportunities for jewelers.

The defendant, in contrast, produced two affidavits that suggested that there were similar employment opportunities available that the plaintiff had not pursued.

The first affidavit was from someone who had been in the jewellery business in Greater Vancouver for 32 years and had employed goldsmiths for 30 years. He deposed that his company had recently had two jewellery positions available and that, more generally, there was a strong demand for experienced goldsmiths with strong skill in the Vancouver area.

The second affidavit appended printouts from the Government of Canada's job bank website and another job search website, Job Shark.

Bates v. John Bishop Jewellers Limited, 2009 BCSC 158