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A classic lesson regarding termination meetings

A recent case out of British Columbia provides a timely reminder of a best practice for Alberta employers when it comes to termination of an employee. In Saliken v Alpine Aerotech Limited Partnership, 2016 BCSC 832, a relatively short service employee was dismissed, allegedly for just cause.

 

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Releases may not protect employers from the tenured employee rule

In Nova Scotia, employees with ten years of service are provided with special protections under the Labour Standards Code. Section 71 of the Code provides that, subject to certain exceptions, an employer can only dismiss an employee with ten years of service or more for just cause. This is called the tenured employee rule.

 

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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with breach of confidentiality clauses in settlement agreements; how an employer was held liable despite the employee having suffered no discrimination; and how individuals can now delay receiving their Old Age Security pension plan.

 

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Even in the absence of a release, employee who accepted a termination package not entitled to additional damages

If an employee negotiates a termination package with an employer but does not sign a release, can they successfully claim additional pay in lieu of notice in a court action? Interestingly, the Ontario Superior Court recently held that the answer for one employee in these circumstances was “no”.

 

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Abuse of process to file human rights application after executing a full and final release

I recently read a case where a human rights claim was dismissed. After an employee had signed a full and final release with the employer and then filed a human rights application, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal found that it amounted to an abuse of process. As the complaint covered the same subject matter as the release, the result was that the human rights claim was dismissed.

 

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Employer was permitted to contract out of human rights obligations

I read an interesting case recently that could be considered controversial: an employer was permitted to contract out of its human rights obligations with some vulnerable employees who were at an economic disadvantage and who experienced significant language barriers. How did the employer accomplish this? The employer added a provision in its termination letter that offered the employees consideration in exchange for signing releases preventing them from launching a human rights complaint.

 

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