Equal or subordinate? Confusion over roles

|Canadian Employment Law Today

Palumbo v. Research Capital Corp., [2002] O.J. No. 4475 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Palumbo was hired by Research Capital Corp. (RCC) in September 1993. Palumbo argued he was hired to be the head of the corporate finance department, while RCC denied this to be the case. The court accepted Palumbo’s position and found the evidence overwhelmingly in support of this. Palumbo’s formal title was vice-chair. He was a director and officer of the company and served on the executive management committee.

In 1996 the CEO of RCC, John Walsh, hired Gord Pridham. Pridham’s formal title was vice-chair and director. RCC argued Pridham was hired to be Palumbo’s equal and this was discussed openly with both Palumbo and Pridham. It was RCC’s position that Pridham had been hired to be joint head of corporate finance with Palumbo, who was aware of Pridham’s position.