Failure to mitigate results in reduced damages award

Employee did not look for new employment
|Canadian Employment Law Today

After 10 years of employment with Carter Pontiac Buick Ltd., Darius Ata’s employment as a car salesperson came to an end on Oct. 29, 1998. Mr. Ata alleged that he was wrongfully dismissed and brought an action for wrongful dismissal against his former employer. Carter alleged that Mr. Ata quit his employment and was therefore not entitled to any damages.

When Mr. Ata first started working for Carter he signed a “New & Used Vehicle Salesperson Contract” which contained a provision that sales representatives were responsible to sell and deliver a minimum average of nine units per month. For the first three years of his employment, Mr. Ata met these requirements. However, starting in 1992 his sales dropped considerably. Carter believed that Mr. Ata was not selling vehicles at a level that was expected of him.

As a member of the sales staff, Mr. Ata had use of a demonstrator vehicle. There were certain restrictions on the use of demonstrator vehicles by the sales staff. For example, salespersons were responsible for all damage to the vehicle, accidents were to be reported immediately regardless of how small, and only the employees and their spouses could drive the vehicle.