Policy manuals not an employment contract

Employer’s commitment to job security is not a guarantee of indefinite employment to its employees
|Canadian Employment Law Today

In January 1995 Atamah Singh lost his job as a result of a company-wide reorganization and restructuring operation by British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro). At the time of his dismissal Mr. Singh had worked at BC Hydro for 18 years. He started as a janitor, but by the time of his departure he was the mailroom supervisor.

Following his dismissal Mr. Singh brought an action against BC Hydro for wrongful dismissal arguing that his termination was a breach of contract which provided employment until retirement. He further alleged that his termination was discriminatory on the basis that he was a visible minority and because he was under medical supervision.

BC Hydro conceded that Mr. Singh had been terminated without cause under a reorganization plan but that it had fulfilled its obligations to Mr. Singh by providing a compensation package of 20.5 months of remuneration in lieu of reasonable notice. At trial the Court found in favour of BC Hydro and dismissed Mr. Singh’s action. Mr. Singh appealed the findings of the trial judge.