In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled
that an employee's pension payments cannot be deducted from an
award of damages for wrongful dismissal. Pension benefits, being a
form of deferred compensation for the employee's service, are
not intended to be an indemnity for wage loss upon
In IBM Canada Ltd v Waterman, the plaintiff, Mr.
Waterman, was a 65 year old employee with 42 years of service.
After being terminated without cause, he began collecting payments
from his defined benefits pension plan and sued the defendant
employer, IBM, for wrongful dismissal. If Mr. Waterman had not been
dismissed, he could not have received both pension and employment
income until he reached the age of 71. IBM sought to deduct those
pension payments from any wrongful dismissal damages that may be
owed to Mr. Waterman on the ground that payment of both
salary-related damages and pension would amount to double recovery
for Mr. Waterman.
Both the trial court and appeal court in British Columbia held
that the pension benefits could not be deducted. In dismissing
IBM's appeal and affirming the lower courts' decision, the
Supreme Court noted that "the parties could not have intended
that the employee's retirement savings would be used to
subsidize his or her wrongful dismissal". The Court declined
to deduct Mr. Waterman's pension benefits from his wrongful
dismissal damages because it determined the that benefit was not an
indemnity for wage loss due to unemployment and that Mr. Waterman,
through his years of service, contributed to the benefit.
On February 1, 2017, the Ontario Human Rights Commission released a policy statement that seeks to clarify the type and scope of the medical information that employees need to provide to their employers to support disability-related requests for accommodation.
Throughout an employee's time with an employer, there are many occasions where the employer will be required to have the employee complete forms or other documents for third parties, or where the employer must complete forms themselves for third parties.
How do you know when an employee has quit her job? It may seem like a simple question, but the answer recently eluded an Ontario employer, who improperly took an employee's apparent resignation at face value.
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