|Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer|
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wrongful Termination North of the Border
"The relationship was on its face consensual. Her interest in the affair was based in lust; the basis of his interest may have been the same or otherwise."the case also points out a different liability standard and a different way of handling attorneys fees.
For liability there is a concept of "notice," which must be given if there is no cause. Fortunately for the employer, the court held that there was cause in light of a managerial employee's obligation to help ensure a workplace free of sexual harassment and, interestingly, protect the employer from claims of sexual harassment. It was a good thing, because the court went on to hold that if notice had been required it would have been 18 months worth of pay.
One of the differences that may be the most appealing to employers in the US is the way attorneys fees are handled. Here, since he lost the employee was liable for attorneys fees of the employer.
Not too surprisingly however, the court did not stick the employee with the full amount claimed by employer's counsel, which was almost $200,000. (Apparently Canadian management side lawyers are just as expensive as their American counterparts.) Instead, the manager was assessed $37,000. Still a hefty sum and one that would certainly discourage much litigation.