Miscommunications between HR and Payroll, and documentation shortcuts resulted in a $115,000.00 overpayment of separation payments. (See Kearns v. Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (“Kearns”)).
Employers' obligations are heightened when dealing with temporary foreign workers. This is primarily because of a recognition that temporary foreign workers are usually more vulnerable in the labour market than Canadians or permanent residents.
Employers making dismissal decisions would be best served with employment contracts that grant flexibility in these circumstances with a properly drafted layoff clause. Why? Because the current pandemic has proven that we are not always as prepared as we think we are and must always be prepared for the unexpected.