This issue has arisen in several recent mediations that I have conducted. As regular readers will know, Employment Insurance benefits are usually deducted from money paid out in lieu of notice of dismissal. At mediation, the plaintiff will be asked if they received EI benefits; if they did, then a mechanism for obtaining a statement of account/debt from Service Canada, and a holdback of funds to cover any repayment obligation, is typical.
While all legal decisions have something interesting to tell us about employment law, there are those cases that lawyers keep in their back pocket to serve as a cautionary tale for clients about the potential cost of HR blunders.
As my contracts professor used to say, “you can’t suck and blow at the same time”. What he meant was that you cannot seek to enforce some parts of a contract while simultaneously breaching others. That is what happened to Rand A Technology Corporation in a recent case: they breached the termination clause in the employment contract by paying less than they were required to but, when the employee complained, they tried to rely on that same termination clause to limit their liability. They lost.