December 3, 2015

In this session, leaders in the field will review the most important wrongful dismissal cases of 2015, and highlight must-know principles for employers, employees and employment law practitioners across Canada. The final selection of cases will take place a few weeks prior to the conference, ensuring up-to-the-minute coverage of late-breaking decisions. Some of the cases to be discussed will include:

  • Wilson v. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (Federal Court of Appeal): Will the Supreme Court of Canada uphold the Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling that federally regulated employers may dismiss employees on a “without cause” basis if the dismissal is not otherwise unjust, or will it rule that s.240 of the Canada Labour Code encompasses “without cause” dismissals?
  • Potter v. New Brunswick Legal Aid Services Commission (Supreme Court of Canada): How did the Supreme Court clarify the test for “constructive dismissal” in Potter? What principles did the Court set out in relation to an employer’s right to impose an “administrative,” i.e. non-disciplinary, suspension of an employee? What did the Court say with respect to deducting pension benefits from wrongful dismissal damages?
  • Morgan v. Vitran Express Canada Inc. (Ontario Court of Appeal): Does a demotion automatically amount to constructive dismissal? When is a constructively dismissed employee required to accept an offer of re-employment in order to mitigate his or her damages?
  • Steel v. Coast Capital Savings Credit Union (British Columbia Court of Appeal): How, if at all, does this decision depart from McKinley v. BC Tel, the leading case on the question of termination for cause based on dishonest conduct? Is it now easier to dismiss an employee for a single act of dishonesty in British Columbia?
  • Bhasin v. Hrynew and Heritage Education Funds Inc. (Supreme Court of Canada): What was the Supreme Court’s rationale for extending the organizing principle of good faith and the duty of honest performance to commercial contracts? How, if at all, will this ruling impact the employment context?