Financial Firm Hit With Second Breach of Contract Lawsuit

A financial firm with offices in Calgary and Toronto has been hit with the second lawsuit from a former employee in just eight months. A former vice-president in the sales department is the latest to leave the firm under less than harmonious circumstances; a senior vice-president did the same last spring, filing claims for breach of contract/wrongful dismissal, unpaid commissions and others.

In the case of an employment contract, a wrongful dismissal by definition would constitute a breach of contract. In the recent case, the vice-president was terminated without cause. A central part of the claim is that an implied term of the employment contract was that in the absence of grounds for dismissal, the employee would get reasonable notice or payment in lieu of – as most employees do. In addition, the claim notes that the employee also didn’t get a positive letter of reference and that he worked in a very specialized field in a tough job market, making it even more important than usual.

In the lawsuit filed in the spring of 2013, the employee worked at the company for two years. He was granted increasing commission overrides and then promoted after 15 months to senior VP. From the outset, he claims he was not paid his full bonus – one of the main reasons that he accepted the contract in the first place. His duties and role were subsequently changed and another person was hired to effectively perform his job, which he interpreted as constructive dismissal. The company is claiming he resigned.

The Issues

The Employment Standards Act can serve to spell out the obligations of both employer and employee when they’re not specified in an employment contract.  But- it’s clear that trouble starts when terms are left open to interpretation. That’s why it’s so important to know and fully understand all the relevant eventualities before you sign on the dotted line.

  • Under what circumstances can your employment be terminated?
  • What constitutes constructive dismissal? i.e. Does changing your job duties constitute constructive dismissal?
  • What will you be entitled to on termination?

Get the Legal Representation You Need

Employment contracts or contracts of any kind can get complicated and you may not foresee the consequences of specific clauses.  Know your rights. Contact the breach of contract lawyers at Petrillo Law today by calling (905) 949-9433 and let us use our expertise to help you make the right decisions.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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