January 28, 2015

It was earlier reported that Target employees would get around 16 weeks’ pay as the company wound down operations in Canada. In this article, some employees are upset that they might get 16 weeks’ notice of termination rather than 16 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice:

Workers who are let go before the end of the wind-down period will continue to be paid, effectively receiving “severance” pay equal to the average hourly wage they had been earning. However, if employees are needed for the whole period, they’ll work as usual, and will receive no additional severance pay. If an employee quits or finds a new job during that time, they get nothing additional.

The BC Human Rights Tribunal will hear a complaint from a number of former employees at a pulp mill in Castlegar, BC who allege that female employees were denied equal pay and promotions that men in the same position received:

An Alberta Provincial Court judge ordered “moral damages” against the defendant in a wrongful dismissal action for what he described as a lack of good faith and fair dealings in the termination:

[64] The Court can not condone the Defendant’s actions. The Defendant was not candid with the Plaintiff. The Defendant did not afford the Plaintiff the opportunity to accept the proposal submitted to him, despite advising him to think about it. The Defendant was not truthful in stating the reason for dismissal. The Defendant was considering terminating the Plaintiff, before change to the Plaintiffs work hours was even raised with the Plaintiff. The Defendant, however, stating the Plaintiff’s alleged rejection of the work hours proposal as the reason for dismissal.

[65] Following the principles established in Wallace and Keays, for the reasons I have detailed and employing the language developed in Zesta and Simmons, the Plaintiff is entitled to moral damages.

Doug MacLeod writes in his blog about the costs of terminating an employee returning from a pregnancy leave. The plaintiff was an office manager at a dental practice returning from a pregnancy leave. Just prior to her return, her employer informed her that she would be returning to a different position as a dental hygienist with later hours which the employer knew would pose child care issues for the employee. The plaintiff sued and was awarded pay in lieu of notice of 12 months plus $30,000 for breach of her human rights.

The Ontario Supreme Court adopted the test described in the Federal Court of a Appeal’s decision in Johnstone for determining whether there is discrimination on the basis of family status:

Is posting a job change on social media soliciting former clients? Sean Bawden doesn’t think so, but, he opines, you may be off side if you start adding clients of your former employer to your social media account immediately before or just after you switch jobs:

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