A recent BC Supreme Court decision finding a fast food employee was wrongfully dismissed and entitled to aggravated damages has been making newspaper headlines across the country. Ms. Ram had worked as a cook in various Burger King locations for 24 years, and was terminated for just cause after taking home a fish sandwich, fries and a drink at the end of her shift without paying for them. Ms. Ram’s claim was heard over a seven day trial, resulting in a lengthy decision.
The Court acknowledged that an employer may allege just cause, and later abandon that claim at any time. The Court held that it wouldn’t be appropriate to penalize an employer for changing its mind if it initially had a reasonable basis to believe it had just cause to terminate an employee. As such, it is important to investigate and document any evidence of employee misconduct, and to act accordingly.
Ontario courts are rightly increasing their protection of employees from harassment and assault in the workplace. This case serves as a strong deterrent to employers and employees who do not comprehend or acknowledge the severe implications of their actions.
The recent decision of the BC Supreme Court in Feldstein v. 364 Northern Development Corporation provides a cautionary tale for well-meaning employers seeking to provide compensation and benefits package details to candidates during the interview process.
Termination of an employment relationship can come in many forms; some apparent and some not so. In the latter case, it often falls to a court to determine whether an employer’s actions constitute dismissal or constructive dismissal. This was the issue faced by Justice Lack in the recent decision of Sweeting v Mok.
When the T-1000 came from the future to destroy John Connor, Arnie made sure he was stopped in his tracks. While employers who have to date relied upon prohibitive time and costs to deter ex-employee claims might not face the wrath that Skynet did, given the recent decision of Cloutier v. Q Residential LP Corp (Cloutier), 2015 ONSC 4431 (CanLII), a rethinking of such approaches may be required.
Last month, I wrote about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $150,000 from her former employer by filing a complaint under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This month, I am writing about a vulnerable, low paid employee who obtained $300,000 from her former employer using Ontario’s court system.
A wrongful dismissal lawsuit can be a potential nightmare for companies no matter what size. Lawsuits carry with them complex claims that are often convoluted and difficult to understand for the non-legal specialist. This blog post will offer a brief overview of the parameters of some of the damages which can be claimed within the context of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.