Court refuses to enforce contract term

Clause offends commercial morality standards
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Wendy Carter was offered a position as store manager at a Dairy Queen in Edmonton on Jan. 1, 2001. The letter of offer provided for an annual salary at $15,000 based on a minimum 34-40 hours weekly. In order to get this job, all Ms. Carter needed to do was successfully complete the Dairy Queen training course being held in Minnesota, USA, later that month.

Ms. Carter signed the letter of offer. She failed to notice that the contract provided that she make a two-year commitment to Dairy Queen. If she chose to leave before the two-year period had expired, she would be required to reimburse Dairy Queen for the costs incurred for her training school, between $5,000 to $6,000.

Ms. Carter successfully completed the training course and commenced her employment on Jan. 29, 2001. On April 24, 2001, she resigned from Dairy Queen citing family circumstances as the reason. There was nothing in her resignation letter making reference to her obligation to repay the expenses related to her training.