Wal-Mart was found to have breached its duty as it was trying to find a new position for Ms. Galea. I don’t know if this case will turn out to be an outlier, but in the meantime employers should be very careful when dealing with an employee who is between jobs within the organization.
Recently, in Galea v. Wal-Mart (2017 ONSC 245) the Ontario Superior Court released a decision in a wrongful termination matter involving a Wal-Mart Executive Gail Galea (“Galea”) and the “reprehensible” termination conduct of Wal-Mart. In addition to the usual wrongful termination damages such as salary, benefits, bonuses, etc., the Court awarded a whopping $750,000.00 in moral and punitive damages combined.
At almost 100 pages, Galea is a hefty case with many facets not touched upon in the above summary. That said, it marks the latest in a trend of Ontario courts issuing ever higher awards for bad employer conduct in both dismissal and subsequent litigation.