In a recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision, the court upheld a $50,000 award for Aggravated damages ordered to an employee due to the manner in which they were dismissed.

The 59-year-old employee, Mr. Krmpotic, worked for the Company, Thunder Bay Electronics Limited, as a Building Maintenance Supervisor, for nearly 30 years. After sustaining work-related injuries, the employee underwent back surgery and as a result went on medical leave. Within two hours of his return to work, he was dismissed without cause.

The Company contended that the 16 months of notice they had provided was appropriate, arguing that the employee failed to mitigate his damages. However, at trial, the employee was awarded 24 months’ notice because the court found that the employee was physically incapable of working during the notice period.

When assessing the award for aggravated damages, the trial judge concluded that the Company had breached the duty of good faith a fair dealing by dismissing the employee just two hours after he returned to work after undergoing back surgery.

On appeal, the Court upheld the trial judge’s decision and dismissed the defendant’s argument that physical incapacity could only be proven through expert medical evidence.


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