This case deals with the dismissal of Michael Dias from Paragon Gaming EC Company, a casino operated by the Enoch Casino Limited Partnership. The case is of some importance because of its discussion of the potential for an increased wrongful dismissal award where an employer has caused an employee to leave a previous position.
By way of background, the facts are as follows:
- The plaintiff had been employed with the ABS Casino in Edmonton for a period of approximately 16 years before being offered a position the Enoch Casino Limited Partnership.
- The plaintiff was hired in July 2006 as Games Manager for the Enoch Casino Limited Partnership. The plaintiff commenced employment on August 14, 2006 with a base salary of $61,000.
- The plaintiff’s employment was terminated in February 2008. The plaintiff was paid one week severance as required by the Employment Standards Code, along with one week of vacation pay. The plaintiff was 41 years and had a grade 12 diploma.
The case deals the appropriate period of notice applicable where a plaintiff has been induced to leave secure employment. The Court was considered the factors from Bardal in determining the appropriate notice period in this case. Factors considered included:
- The character of employment;
- The length of service;
- The age of the employee; and
- The availability of similar employment having regard to experience, training and qualification of the employee.
In its decision, the Court states that the single most important factor in determining the period of reasonable notice was the fact that the plaintiff had been induced to leave a lengthy term of employment. As a result of joining the Enoch Casino, the plaintiff had given up the notice period which he would have been entitled to in that position. The Court stated that the employee would otherwise have been entitled to two months, however, in these circumstances the plaintiff was entitled to a revised period of 4 months.
This case is of particular importance to employers who seek to obtain the services of qualified individuals who are employed elsewhere. Employers should take note that the termination of such employees may be extended simply because those employees have enjoyed secure employment with a previous employer. As seen in this case, the effect on the Court’s view of reasonable notice may be significant.