Friendship does not make one the agent of the other

One employee’s misstatements cannot be held against another employee based on their friendship
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Julie Whitecross was employed as a purchasing agent with the Heiltsuk Tribal Council pursuant to a one-year employment contract. Her contract commenced on Dec. 13, 1999. The chief of the band, Robert Germyn, signed an extension of her employment contract for an additional year on Sept. 28, 2000. However the council terminated her employment on Oct. 12, 2000.

Ms. Whitecross sued the council, seeking damages for breach of contract, aggravated damages for the manner in which her employment was terminated and for increased costs because of the allegation of fraud made against her by the council. The council defended the action by arguing that the contract extension was signed in reliance on a fraudulent misrepresentation made by Ms. Whitecross that a verbal commitment to a two-year contract was given to her at the time she was initially hired.

Prior to Ms. Whitecross commencing her employment with the council, there had not been a purchasing agent employed by the council. The expectation for the newly created position of purchasing agent was that the incumbent would train a member of the Heiltsuk Band initially to work as an assistant and then to take over as purchasing agent.