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CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT - Enforceability - Express terms - Remuneration

Tuesday, June 04, 2019 @ 8:41 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Application for summary judgment by the plaintiff for damages for wrongful dismissal. The 51-year-old plaintiff was dismissed without cause from his employment as an architect after 11 years. His work at first focused on project design and project administration, with no supervisory or budgetary responsibilities, but he received promotions, and, at the date of dismissal, his responsibilities included business strategy, financial growth, managing and expanding client base and business development forecasting. He also attended networking events to promote the businesses and undertook human resources and staff supervision, signing authority on proposals and operational responsibilities. The employer argued that his entitlement to damages was limited by the employment agreement’s termination provisions, which provided for a maximum of three months’ notice or pay in lieu of notice.

HELD: Application allowed. The changes and advancement in the plaintiff’s responsibilities overtook the notice limit in the agreement. There was no evidence that the employer made it clear to him that the notice limit was intended to apply to the positions to which he was promoted. A reasonable notice period was 12 months given his age, years of service, level and difficulty finding similar employment.

McKercher v. Stantec Architecture Ltd., [2019] S.J. No. 159, Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench, R.W. Elson J., April 10, 2019. Digest No. TLD-June32019004