Fired employee’s termination provision revised without consent

Employee’s draft contract signed by minority owner and employee later rejected revised contract from principal owners
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/16/2013

An Alberta employer must pay a former employee more than $76,000 after terminating a contract to which the employee never agreed, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has ruled.

David Lovely, 48, had more than 20 years in the travel business and had intended to start a travel business in Edmonton when he arrived there in 2006 from the U.S. On Jan. 13, 2008, he received a temporary work permit that allowed him to work only for a corporation he incorporated himself so he could start his agency. However, in February 2008 he met with Wally Bychowski, who was one of the principal owners of McDonald & Bychowski, an Alberta corporation that ran an insurance brokerage. The owners also had a side business called Prestige Travel, which provided subsidized travel as a reward for customers of the brokerage.

In early March 2008, Lovely had another meeting, this time with all four owners – two principal and two minority -- of McDonald & Bychowski. They were interested in hiring Lovely to run Prestige and turn it around from a money-losing business to a successful one.