A few months ago we commented on a case where a fixed term contract caused an employer significant liability because it did not allow for early termination prior to the end of the fixed term. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released a decision, Howard v. Benson Group Inc., which provides a further warning about the use of fixed term contracts.
On July 7, 2014, the majority of the Quebec Court of Appeal allowed an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court that had ordered the employer to pay an amount of $1,086,767 due to a constructive dismissal, to reduce the amount of the damages awarded to $709,488.
The recent firing of Toronto Transit Commission head Gary Webster makes it difficult for the city to claim it is trying to run like a business. Webster, a 37-year TTC employee, was a year away from the end of his contract, and his termination without cause will likely cost the city at least $500,000 in severance pay, not to mention the costs associated with replacing him.