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Size of award for insensitive firing unexpected; Wal-Mart employees unionize in B.C.; Forestry worker death rate prompts work-stoppage threat; Business school drops fraudster's name; Protecting company secrets at the subatomic level
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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/11/2005

Size of award for insensitive firing unexpected

Halifax — A jury in Nova Scotia has awarded a woman 52 months’ pay in lieu of notice for the way Richmond, B.C.-based CHC Helicopters terminated her employment. The jury said Wendy Jessop was wrongfully dismissed. It awarded her four months’ pay in lieu of notice, tacking on an additional 48 months in Wallace damages (as punitive damages for callously handled terminations are known). CHC Helicopters has appealed the decision on the grounds it is excessive. Grant Machum, a senior partner with Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales in Halifax, said nobody expects the 48-month notice extension to stand up to the Court of Appeal’s scrutiny. “The jury in this case appears to have misunderstood the purpose of reasonable notice, which is not to penalize the employer for terminating an employee,” said Machum. An earlier ruling in Nova Scotia seemed to set the maximum period of reasonable notice at 24 months.

Wal-Mart employees unionize in B.C.