A Cautionary Tale: Appellate Court Upholds Judgment Against Employer for Punitive Damages, Aggravated Damages and “Unusually High” Costs

In Ruston v. Keddco MFG. (2011) Ltd., 2019 ONCA 125 (CanLII)(Keddco), a unanimous Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld a substantial damages and costs award against an employer that breached its “duty of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of dismissal.” The Keddco decision serves as an important reminder for employers across Canada…

Cause Termination Upheld Where Employee Found to Have Installed Spyware on Employer’s Computer

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently upheld a cause termination where an employee was found to have installed spyware onto his employer’s computer. The Court also considered the availability of the “after-acquired cause” defence In Sankreacha v. Cameron J. and Beach Sales Ltd., the plaintiff’s employment as a service advisor in the automotive department…

Court of Appeal Upholds Cause Dismissal for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

In the case of Dunsmuir v. Royal Group, Inc., the Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the cause termination of a Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of a publicly-traded company for breach of fiduciary duty. The employee had commenced a claim against the employer for wrongful dismissal and sought approximately $6.6 million in damages….

Ontario Court Finds Investment Firm Liable for Defamation in a Notice Of Termination Filed with IIROC and Orders Correction

The Ontario Superior Court has found that an investment firm defamed one of its former traders when it filed a Notice of Termination (NOT) with the securities regulator indicating the trader’s employment had been terminated for failing to follow trading policies and engaging in unauthorized trading. The Court concluded that there was no cause for…

Court Disapproves of Employee’s Surreptitious Recordings of Meetings with Employer

In Hart v Parrish & Heimbecker, a trial judge recently upheld the dismissal of a 42-year old Merchandising Manager (Plaintiff) with 15 of years service, for a series of separate incidents that he had with peers and subordinates. The Plaintiff had engaged in inappropriate conduct which included repeatedly yelling at employees, displaying excessive anger and…

Disclosure of Disability Post-Termination Won’t Negate Dismissal for Cause

Is an employer obligated to set aside the termination of an employee if the employee subsequently discloses a disability? The Ontario Court of Appeal has seemingly answered this question in the case of Bellehumeur v. Windsor Factory Supply Ltd. and provided clarity to employers regarding their ability to discipline inappropriate workplace conduct perpetrated by employees who suffer…

Ontario Court of Appeal Upholds Malicious Prosecution Finding Against Municipality, Reduces Punitive Damages

In a cautionary tale for employers, the Court of Appeal for Ontario has upheld a lower court decision which found a Township guilty of malicious prosecution in its actions relating to a dismissed employee. The quantum of punitive damages awarded is also a stark reminder that employee terminations must be conducted in a fair and…

Court of Appeal Upholds Termination of Employee for Driving Company Vehicle While Intoxicated

In Dziecielski v. Lighting Dimensions, the Court of Appeal for Ontario recently upheld an employer’s decision to terminate a long-service employee with an otherwise clean disciplinary record for driving a company vehicle while intoxicated. While driving, the employee had been involved in a car accident and was criminally charged. The lower court had examined the…