Last week, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal from an important Quebec Court
of Appeal decision on labour standards, which may bring significant
changes in the interpretation of the law on notices of termination
(or délai-congé) for employment contracts.
In the facts of the case, Mr. Guay (hereinafter "the
employee") worked for Asphalte Desjardins Inc. (hereinafter
"the employer") from 1994 to 2008, moving up through the
company ranks and ending up as a project manager. In February 2008,
when the employee presented his employer with a resignation letter
intending to leave on March 7, 2008, the employer unsuccessfully
tried to convince him to stay. Given the situation, the employer
decided not to wait until March 7 and let the employee go on the
following day, without compensation.
Following the majority of the Court of Appeal, when the
employment contract is for an undetermined term, an employer can
decide to immediately end the employment relationship with a
resigning employee without compensation, as a notice of termination
is an opportunity for the receiving party to deal with the
inconveniences of the end of a relationship; the notice of
termination is not a right to the giving party. In addressing the
employers' duties set out by art. 82 of An Act Respecting
Labour Standards, R.S.Q. c. N-1.1, the majority underlines how
this applies only in cases where the employer initiates the
termination. In other words, this duty is not mandatory in a
situation where the employee resigns – unless, of course,
"the manner of resiliation is abusive".
By rendering this decision, the majority of the Court of Appeal
rejected a longstanding jurisprudence from the Court of
Québec, which was rather favourable to employees, i.e.
compensation shall be given even when an employer waives the notice
of termination following an employee's resignation.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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