An ex-employer, wrongful dismissal and a ruined career

Disputes leading to dismissal commonly occur between employers and employees, although dismissal can also be provoked by a previous employer who holds a grudge. Regardless of whether these actions are legal or not, causing unfair harm to someone is punishable in the court of law.

On the surface, this may sound like a simple wrongful termination case, but the details reveal a different story. The plaintiff, a skilled cable installer had worked with a local cable company for a period of 15 years. He voluntarily left for another job in the US and two years later, returned to Canada and obtained a position as a network installer for a cable contractor. Coincidentally, this contractor was working on a large scale project for the plaintiff’s previous employer. This project was the plaintiff’s first assignment, but after only a few hours on location, he was sent home. He received notice of his termination a few days later. Naturally, he sued the contractor for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract. This action was successful and settled before trial.

Next, the plaintiff sued his previous employer, the cable company, who induced the breach of contract. He was awarded over $130,000 for loss of income and over $60,000 for the humiliation, embarrassment and pain suffered. The cable company appealed the decision.

The exact cause of dismissal

The plaintiff’s first project on the job was for the cable company he previously worked for. The cable company told the plaintiff’s current employer that they didn't want him on their property and suggested it would be in their “best interests” if the plaintiff didn't work for them.

Throughout his entire employment with the cable company, the plaintiff proved he was a skilled technician with an outstanding record and had enduring friendships with his coworkers. Any hard feelings between him and his previous employer may have been caused by his efforts to unionize the company.

The previous employer denied malicious conduct and said it simply didn't want the plaintiff on site because he would be bad for employee morale. They also stated they were within their legal rights to prevent a contractor from using a certain individual on its projects. They denied their actions caused the plaintiff’s dismissal or that any damages occurred as a result. While it was acknowledged that the cable company didn't act illegally, their intentions were maliciously purposeful and caused significant pain and suffering. For this, the previous employer had to pay full damages of over $60,000.

The plaintiff found it difficult to find similar employment as the cable company dominated the marketplace. Its widespread influence had destroyed his reputation and his career, and led to periods of unemployment. He was forced to re-train and obtain employment elsewhere. The only benefit the cable company had with its appeal was that the wages the plaintiff earned since his dismissal were deducted from the damages for loss of employment. The cable company was forced to pay the remainder of the original $130,000.

If an ex-employer is causing difficulty with your current employer or you feel you are a victim of wrongful dismissal, please contact Yeager Employment Law.


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