Kimberly Weston-Martin is suing the City of Ottawa for breach of contract with respect to her recent position at OC Transpo. She was one of a number of managers who was fired by a new general manager shortly after his appointment last February. OC Transpo is the agency that operates bus transit services for Ottawa and Carleton, billed as the “largest bus system in the world”.
In her Statement of Claim (which hadn’t yet been answered at the time of this writing,) Ms Weston-Martin describes how she was approached by the City in 2006 to develop a special constable program for Transpo. She left a position at the OPP to assume her new role with the transit system.
The statement goes on to describe what sounds like a successful stint there, including implementation of the special constable plan. She received substantial pay raises over a period of four years and a promotion to Manager of Transit Safety and Enforcement last December, reporting directly to the former GM.
She alleges that her new boss refused to speak with her even after numerous attempts and made disparaging and sexist remarks to both her and other female managers at a meeting. She was subsequently fired on April 30. Her claim includes defamation due to comments her former boss allegedly made at a press conference.
As mentioned above, the City has yet to respond to the claim; however, from the unproven points in her Statement, we can outline the following possible issues:
- Up until the new GM was hired, her job performance was well regarded and had been rewarded with increases in both pay and responsibility
- If there were issues regarding her duties, there was no communication of same
- Attempts at communication were thwarted
In other words – nothing changed but her boss, and his behaviour changed the entire terms of her employment. Naturally, the specific wording and circumstances of her contract of employment will come into play.
The case illustrates an important point – your employment contract is meant as an agreement of working conditions that should not change with new management or co-workers.
Your Employment Contract
You’ve negotiated your employment contract for any number of good reasons and they’re all important. If you feel your employer has neglected to follow through on their side of the obligations in any way, you owe it to yourself to get the best legal advice possible.
You only have a limited time to take action in a breach of contract case. If you think your rights under a contractual agreement are being disregarded contact Petrillo Law today for a free consultation with an experienced contract lawyer. We look forward to hearing from you.
Prevention is the Best Remedy
Before you sign on the dotted line – if you’re in the process or thinking of entering into an employment contract, then contact our experienced breach of contract lawyers for advice.
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