If an employee and his or her employer enter into an agreement, both parties expect the other to uphold their end of the contract. Should either side fall short, the wronged party will naturally expect compensation for the breach. However, what happens when the compensation offered is refused? Those are the circumstances of a wrongful termination suit that went before the courts in Vancouver recently.
In 2013, the director of international programs and exchanges at a local university opted to take a leave from work in order to pursue a higher level of education for herself. This was done with the blessing of her employer. When she returned to work in March 2016, however, she was terminated without cause, a victim of restructuring at the school.
The employer offered to pay the woman her full salary and benefits for the next 10 months if she made a meaningful effort to seek new employment during that time. They further offered to pay the difference in salary if any new employment she found in the public sector paid less than what she earned at the university. The woman rejected the offer, but the school made the paymentsregardless. In June 2016, she found new employment at another school, and the university ceased the payments.
The judge's ruling on the case determined that the woman was wrongfully dismissed and was entitled to compensation. He further decided that the payments made by the university were acceptable. He did, however, award the woman an additional 8 days pay, amounting to $3,070.77, to cover the remaining time she was not employed full time.
In this case, even though the employer broke an agreement, the judge felt the compensation given was satisfactory. However, the woman was granted additional salary that may otherwise have been denied, even though it was due her. Individuals in the Vancouver area who believe they are victims of wrongful termination should consider speaking with a lawyer who handles similar cases regularly. It may be the best way to fight for the compensation they deserve.
Source: the now, "Judge settles court case involving Kwantlen Polytechnic University and former employee", Tom Zytaruk, Nov. 7, 2016