Sample Cases

The following are brief sketches of some of the employment law cases in Vancouver we have handled for employees who have been terminated from employment. These are cases where negotiation has failed and the client has instructed us to commence a lawsuit. In the majority of our cases negotiation is successful and no lawsuit is necessary. If you think you have been the subject of a wrongful dismissal or unfair termination, please fill out our dismissal questionnaire. Several other cases we’ve handled are featured in our client testimonials.

HVT - Program Manager

HVT was employed at a non-profit employer for a total of 20 years, when his employer suddenly and without warning dismissed him. HVT commenced a wrongful dismissal lawsuit at BC Supreme Court. The employer argued that its policy manual limited HVT to 8 weeks of severance in compliance with the Employment Standards Act. 

After trial, the court issued a judgment rejecting the employer’s policy manual defence and finding that HVT was wrongfully dismissed. The Court also found that the employer had acted unfairly towards HVT, including making false statements about the reasons for dismissal and sending an intimidating cease and desist letter to HVT threatening legal action. 

HVT was awarded 24 months of severance pay, outstanding banked vacation pay, $30,000 in aggravated damages for the manner of dismissal and mental distress that it caused him, and costs.

MP - Sales Person

MP worked for her employer for eight years. She had always worked 30 hours per week and worked the lucrative days Wednesday to Saturday each week. Her employer suddenly changed her working arrangements such that her hours were reduced to only 20 hours per week, and was forced to work the far less lucrative days Sunday to Wednesday. These changes constituted a serious reduction in pay and opportunities for MP. She did not agree and said so.

The employer pressed for her agreement, and MP instead took two weeks vacation, with the employer’s consent, to think about things. During the vacation, MP decided she could not agree to the changes and said so. The employer took the position that MP resigned or quit. MP commenced a lawsuit for constructive dismissal. The Court awarded her 12 months pay as the reasonable notice.

AH - Technical Sales Person

AH was a technical salesperson who worked for his employer for only seven months. Suddenly, his employment was terminated, with the employer giving him one week's notice. AH commenced a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.

The Court awarded AH seven months of his pay as reasonable notice.

KB - Production Manager

KB had been employed for 14 months. Suddenly, only days from Christmas, his employment was terminated without any warning. The employer said it needed to reorganize. KB was given two weeks' pay in lieu of notice. KB came to us and attempts were made to obtain a reasonable settlement, to no avail. KB commenced a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, and obtained a judgment from the Court giving him six months of his salary as severance pay. The employer appealed to the BC Court of Appeal, where KB’s award was upheld in one of British Columbia’s best-known employment law cases.

IY - Company President & CEO

IY had worked for his employer for 10 years. His employment was terminated by the employer, citing just cause. IY was given no notice or severance pay at all. There was no point in attempting to negotiate with the employer, as it was emphatic that there was just cause for dismissal. IY instructed us to commence a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.

Once it became clear to the employer through the legal process that it could not possibly win a just cause case, the employer agreed to settle, paying IY the equivalent of 15 months of his pay.

AM - Senior Technical Salesperson

AM was a senior technical salesperson for a national software firm. She had worked for the employer for 2.5 years. She had given up secure employment with another firm in Calgary to take the job with the current employer. Her employment was terminated at a point in time where she was on bereavement leave for the death of her father. She was advised of her termination via e-mail message. All attempts at negotiation failed.

AM instructed us to commence a lawsuit. Just prior to trial, after extensive negotiations, the employer settled the claim by paying AM the equivalent of six months of her pay plus other inducements.

KL - Vice President and CFO

KL had worked for a major national firm, and had been an employee of this firm for 21 years. She had worked her way up the ranks to become the Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. She was such a high performer that her employer continued to load more and more responsibilities onto her shoulders. At some point, the employer, a capricious lot, began to emotionally attack her, culminating in an embarrassing verbal attack in the presence of her peers and subordinates. KL found herself unable to continue. She left the company and went on to an extended medical leave being treated for acute depression.

Some two years after she left her employment, she came to us. We attempted to negotiate with her employer, to no avail. KL instructed us to commence a lawsuit for wrongful dismissal, and alternatively, for constructive dismissal. The employer defended the lawsuit on the basis that KL quit. About halfway through the lawsuit, the employer realized they could not win, and settled the case, paying KL 20 months of her pay in lieu of reasonable notice.

JH - Executive Director

JH was employed by a non-profit society, with eight years of service. Suddenly, the employer dismissed JH without any notice or pay in lieu of notice, alleging just cause for the dismissal. The employer had had a recent change in its board of directors, and the dismissal was politically motivated. The employer absolutely refused to negotiate. A lawsuit was commenced but settled once the employer conceded it could not win, and JH received 12 months of pay and a written apology.