Canadian Employment Law Today

January 7, 2015

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian January 7, 2015 worker pushed out after investing in other business gets $65,000 Manager at inn invested in bar with diff erent clientele; employer's worries about confl ict of interest ended employment relationship By JEffrEy r. SmiTh AN oNTArio EMPloYEr must pay $65,000 to a long-term worker who was ter- minated after he invested in a similar busi- ness in a nearby town, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled. Graham Carter was hired in 1992 to be a waiter and bartender at the Olde Angel Inn, a hotel, restaurant and bar in Niaga- ra-on-the-Lake, Ont. In 2005 the inn was purchased by Barry Williams and Nancy Penman and in 2008 they promoted Carter to the position of senior shift manager. e responsibilities of the position included running the bar, inventory control, supervi- sion of staff and marketing. In August 2011, Carter bought a half-stake in a bar in nearby Niagara Falls, Ont., partnering with a former co-worker at the Olde Angel Inn. e bar served bar food, but was not a full restaurant and catered to a working-class crowd of locals in Niagara Falls, diff erent from the clientele of the Olde Angel Inn, which catered more to tourists Employer pays price for passing over downsized employee pg. 3 Worker not hired for similar job with Colin Gibson fired exec given inadequate notice; gets almost $350,000 for 3 years' service AN oNTArio employer must pay more than $300,000 to a former executive for wrongful dismissal, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled. Bruce Rodgers, 57, had spent his entire professional career in the trucking, freight forwarding and logistics industry when he accepted a job off er with CEVA Freight Canada, a Mississauga, Ont.-based freight management and logistics company, in Sep- tember 2009. e off er was for the position of country manager for Canada. Before joining CEVA, Rodgers was presi- dent of another transportation company. CEVA recruited him for its Canadian op- erations after some negotiations. Rodgers' employment contract included a signing bonus, vehicle allowance and benefi ts such as health and life insurance. He was also subject to an "equity plan," in which he was expected to purchase a certain amount of CEVA shares based on a percentage of his salary. is was because CEVA wanted its senior managers to have a stake in the com- pany's success. Rodgers borrowed $102,000 to purchase the shares and his fi nancial advisors told him it was a good investment. As part of the share purchase, Rodg- ers signed a shareholders agreement that included a restriction on interfering with customer relationships. is stated that for 12 months following termination of employment he could not contact or solicit CEVA customers. e employment contract included a termination clause that stated "your em- ployment may also be terminated by our providing your notice, pay in lieu of notice, or a combination of both, at our option, based on your length of service and appli- cable legal requirements." On June 28, 2012, CEVA terminated Rod- gers' employment. e company paid him two weeks' salary in lieu of notice along with severance and vacation pay. His ben- efi ts were terminated two weeks later. He was also told his investment in CEVA shares remained "in the care of the company" and there was no process for him to exit by selling all his stock. In April 2013, Rodgers received a let- ter from CEVA's board of directors that cRedit: WAVeBReAkMediA/ShutteRStock Employee wrongfully dismissed for social media postings pg. 4 Organization had concerns over employee's social media use but never offi cially warned her until dismissal CaLLEd in siCk on page 6 » indUCEmEnT on page 7 » ask an ExpErT pg. 2 Status after expiry of fi xed-term contract • Suspicious WC claims

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