This matter relates to a case that we had been
previously discussed in August 2012. At that time,
the Superior Court of Quebec had refused to award a termination
indemnity to a 75-year-old employee due to his failure to mitigate
his damages following the cessation of his employment by not making
efforts to seek alternate employment.
The Court of Appeal has now reversed the Superior Court's decision
and declared that 75-year Abraham Levy, whose employment was
terminated after over 35 years of service as a result of the
shutdown of his employer' plant, was entitled to receive a
reasonable notice of termination.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that Mr. Levy should not be
penalized for not taking active measures to find a new job when,
considering his age, those measures would have been futile in any
event. The Court of Appeal further reminds us that an
employee's failure to mitigate his damages can only constitute
a fault if it is the cause of the employee not securing
new employment. In the present case, the Court concludes that it is
likely that any job search efforts by Mr. Levy would have been
unsuccessful and as such, his failure to make such efforts did not
change anything in his particular situation.
Based on this case, employers should be cautious to not hold
older employees to an unreasonable standard to find alternate
employment and should also recognize that age is a relevant factor
in assessing the employee's reasonable notice of
In the circumstances, the Court of Appeal concluded that Mr.
Levy was entitled to receive a termination indemnity of 10
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