Employee fired after refusing contract changes

Employer should have given choice of accepting new contract provisions or resigning under old ones: Court
By Ronald Minken
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 10/24/2008

The Ontario Court of Appeal has provided insight into how an employer should handle an employee who refuses to accept a unilateral change to a term of her employment even with reasonable notice. The court overturned a lower court’s decision that an employee was wrongfully dismissed when the change was implemented, which seems to require an employer notify an employee who clearly refuses the change that further refusal will result in termination. If the employer fails to notify the employee of this, then the termination for refusing the change will be considered a wrongful dismissal.

Employer introduced new termination provision

Darrell Wronko, 43, had an employment contract with Western Inventory Service in Toronto, which allowed for two years’ pay if terminated. Western attempted to shorten the provision to 30 weeks, but Wronko refused to agree to the change. Western notified Wronko the new termination provision would come into effect in two years. Again, Wronko indicated his disapproval.