Once upon a time, employees did not sign employment contracts with termination clauses and employment lawyers fought over the appropriate “reasonable” notice period. In 2017, however, employees now claim in addition to wrongful dismissal damages, human rights damages, moral or Wallace damages, punitive damages, and damages for the intentional infliction of mental stress.
On May 22, 2014 the Ontario Court of Appeal (OCA) released the Boucher v. Wal-Mart Canada decision. It could rock the wrongful dismissal world.
Special damages in wrongful dismissal cases: The Appeal and Trial Courts are like two ships passing in the night
Wrongful dismissal occurs when an employer does not provide an employee with adequate notice of termination. Wrongful dismissal cases result in two main types of damages:
A recent case out of the Quebec Superior Court Lysecky v. United Parcel Service of Canada Limited 2010 QCCS 5098 is indicative how the question of “moral damages” is still unsettled law.
As we all know, in the late 1990’s the Supreme Court of Canada held that employers had a duty to act in good faith in the course of terminating the employment relationship. In Wallace v. United Grain Growers, our High Court found that the employer had breached that duty, and the majority held that the remedy for such a breach would be to extend the applicable notice period. Over the following decade, claims for “Wallace damages” became commonplace, to say the least. Unfortunately, many courts seemed more than willing to oblige plaintiffs, finding bad faith in all sorts of circumstances that, while not demonstrative of perfect practice in the course of dismissal, hardly seemed to indicate conduct taken in bad faith.
Update on damages arising out of bad faith in the course of dismissal: Soost vs. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.
The Court of Appeal in Alberta has just ruled that there was no basis to award “The Damages Formerly Known as Wallace” in Soost v. Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., dramatically reducing the value of the award.
“Employees are not like tissues to be used up and then thrown out at a whim into a bin of low-level employment or unemployment.” The arbitrator in a recent case concluded that the Greater Toronto Airports Authority’s conduct in terminating a disabled employee was a violation of its collective agreement…
This year’s Ontario Employment Law Conference co-sponsored by First Reference and Stringer Brisbin Humphrey on June 2, 2010, will touch on several topics of importance to employers. The first topic on the Agenda will provide employers with guidance on a significant court decision and changes in court procedures affecting the termination process. Specifically it should help employers minimize claims arising from the termination process.