In Makela v. Horizon School Division No 67, 2019 ABQB 974, Master J.T. Prowse of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed an employee’s claim for wrongful dismissal arising out of a fixed-term employment agreement. While this case ultimately had a happy ending for the employer, Makela provides a warning for yet another potential pit-fall of fixed-term employment agreements.
If a contractual termination clause provides for “the greater of” ESA entitlements and a set amount, will the guarantee of “the greater of” act as a failsafe if the rest of the provision is contrary to the provisions of the ESA?
It has become harder and harder to have a binding termination provision in an employment agreement, but it can still be done. Several cases provide further details.