Year: 2015

Employment Contract Termination Clause is “Long and Complicated” but not Ambiguous

A recent decision from the B.C. Supreme court is a good reminder to employers that a properly drafted employment agreement can save considerable severance costs in respect of dismissed employees. In Damani v. Stuart Olson Construction Ltd., 2015 BCSC 2322 (CanLII) the court held that an employment agreement which purported to limit an employee’s severance […]  Read more

Band Employee Awarded Severance for Unjust Dismissal

In a recent decision under the Canada Labour Code Part III, an adjudicator held that an employee of the Horse Lake First Nation Band (“the Band”) was constructively dismissed and awarded her more than 10 months wages as damages. Tina Horseman filed a complaint claiming “unjust dismissal” with the federal Labour Branch of HRSDC. Ms. […]  Read more

BC Supreme Court decides wrongful dismissal case awarding Plaintiff substantial damages

The British Columbia Supreme Court awarded a 32 year old project consultant and account manager almost $94,000 in damages, after finding she was wrongfully dismissed. Karena TeBaerts was employed for approximately 11 years by Penta Builders Group Inc. (“Penta”), a small, family run home building and real estate development company. Penta also employed Ms. TeBaerts’ […]  Read more

Less is More – “Loyalty Incentives” Upheld

Canada’s big five banks and the financial planning industry will benefit by paying close attention to the difference between a “loyalty incentive” and a restraint of trade, as canvassed thoroughly by the Ontario Superior Court in Levinsky v. The Toronto-Dominion Bank, 2013 ONSC 5657. Levinsky, a managing director with TD Securities Inc., resigned his employment and then […]  Read more

Arguing Ambiguities in Restrictive Covenants – The Pendulum Swings Back to Enforceability

One of the most-used strategies to argue that a non-compete or non-solicit provision is unenforceable is to point to any possible ambiguity in the wording used. In the leading Canadian decision, the Supreme Court of Canada held in J.G. Collins Insurance Agencies Ltd. v. Elsley Estate, 1978 CanLII 7 (SCC), that in order to be enforceable, the terms […]  Read more

Economic Disincentives to Compete Found to be Restraints of Trade

The B.C. Court of Appeal’ decision last year in Rhebergen v. Creston Veterinary Clinic, 2014 BCCA 97, is both a win and a loss for employers seeking to restrain employees from competing with them post-employment. In both instances, the decision will have long-reaching effects over employer’s strategies to implement effective restraints and the courts’ decisions on enforceability. In […]  Read more

Is Forfeiture of a Bonus for Resigning a Restraint of Trade?

Does the forfeiture of a bonus for leaving an employer constitute a restraint of trade? This question was recently put to the Ontario Supreme Court of Justice in Levinsky v. TD Bank, 2012 ONSC 5110. The Court’s ultimate response may encourage more employers to require forfeiture or repayment of bonuses to incent employee loyalty as […]  Read more


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