Ontario worker awarded 20 months’ notice plus Wallace damages

An Ontario company that fired an employee without just cause must pay additional damages for its vindictive behaviour when the employee filed a grievance, according to a ruling by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Robert Kitzman, 62, worked for Babcock and Wilcox Ltd. for more than 33 years. At the time of his firing, he was a senior technical buyer, which involved purchasing pipes and fittings for boilers which the company produces.

In July 1999, Kitzman was given a termination letter upon his return from vacation. He was told he was being fired for “wilful neglect” of his duties. He sued for wrongful dismissal and the company responded by countersuing him for $350,000 for losses suffered as a result of his negligence.

Justice Patrick Flynn found Babcock and Wilcox did not follow through with its own process for discipline and termination of an employee. Through various memos presented to the court, it was evident Kitzman had issues with management and they were looking to get rid of him.