A dismissed field hockey coach recently applied for an injunction requiring his reinstatement as head coach of the Women’s Junior National (Field Hockey) Team. He claimed that his dismissal was unfair as it resulted in his inability to coach the Team at the World Cup in 2013.

The coach’s employment had been terminated after concerns arose about his conduct. Field Hockey Canada had received complaints that he had been “attacking athletes personally, using inappropriate language, encouraging underage drinking and verbally abusing athletes.” Sometime after these complaints arose, the coach was terminated without cause and with working notice as provided for in his contract of employment.

The court accepted that there was a serious issue to be tried. However, it also found that, as a general rule, reinstatement of a non-union employee is not an available remedy at law. Moreover, the coach was unable to establish a specific contractual entitlement to coach the team at the World Cup. As a result, the harm that he alleged could be compensated by an award of damages should he succeed at trial. As a result, the coach’s application was denied.

The team has been under the supervision of a new coach since October 2012, and will appear at the World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany, in July and August 2013.

Milkovich v. Field Hockey Canada

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