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Media employer answers executive’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2016 | Wrongful Termination |

Last week, we discussed a recent wrongful dismissal claim filed in British Columbia Supreme Court by the former executive of a Vancouver-based social media company. At the time of our previous post, Business in Vancouver in its coverage of the May lawsuit had not received any response from the employer about its position. 

The Vancouver Sun has published an article about the media employer’s stance on the matter as reflected in its filed pleadings in the suit. According to the article, the employer disagreed with the plaintiff’s characterization of a new position offered him as a “demotion.” Rather, in its response, the employer said that the new position was not a “significant or fundamental change” from the employee’s previous job.  

The company also reportedly denies the plaintiff’s claim that his departure was announced by the company at a company-wide meeting to his surprise. 

Regarding the plaintiff’s breach of employment contract claim, the Sun article states that the employer’s response states that the job termination provisions at issue are unenforceable because they are ambiguous. 

Carman J. Overholt, Q.C. of Overholt Law LLP  is quoted by the Vancouver Sun on the subject of ambiguous contracts in this context: “Generally speaking, it is a legal principle of contractual interpretation that an ambiguous or unclear written agreement will be interpreted against the interests of the party that drafted the terms of the agreement offered,” which in the case of an employment agreement is usually against the employer. 

We will report on further news in this case as it evolves as well as on other employment cases of in British Columbia. 

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